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Marijuana legalization to be debated in Albany

State Sen. Liz Krueger has introduced a bill

State Sen. Liz Krueger has introduced a bill to legalize marijuana in New York. Photo Credit: Office of State Sen. Liz Krueger

A new bill in the state legislature to legalize marijuana will be debated on Tuesday morning.

In December, State Sen. Liz Krueger, whose district includes the Upper East Side and the Flatiron, introduced a bill that would make toking legal. While Krueger jokes that she hasn’t sampled the green stuff in years, she said her intention is not to encourage smoking. Rather, by regulating marijuana, Krueger said she hopes fewer kids will light up.

“We believe that the research shows that marijuana is not more dangerous than alcohol,” she said. “Regulating and taxing it would actually make it harder to get for young people than it is now.”

Under her proposal, New Yorkers would be legally allowed 2 oz. or less. Her plan would not allow the sale of marijuana to those under 21.

In fact, Krueger said she thinks the cost of the drug under regulation would become prohibitive for some.

Tuesday’s invitation-only forum in Albany will feature testimony from several people, including drug and law enforcement advocacy groups, said a spokesman for the senator.

In his 2014 State of the State address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo voiced his support for a medical marijuana research program. But Cuomo has said that he opposes a broader medical marijuana approach.


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