Lawmakers in New York are mounting a renewed and frantic push to legalize marijuana before the legislative session ends on Wednesday, even as debates about revenue and political blowback that doomed an earlier attempt have threatened to derail the effort again.
Staff members from the State Senate, Assembly and governor’s office met throughout the weekend, the first time they had engaged in three-way negotiations since the previous push fell short.
One of the initial obstacles was a disagreement on how and where to allocate revenue from marijuana sales. Progressive legislators had initially sought to designate fixed percentages of marijuana revenue for reinvestment in communities that have been most harmed by the war on drugs. But Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo had wanted looser language, which would have given the executive branch more control over the revenue.
Since then, lawmakers have introduced a revised bill that would grant Mr. Cuomo more say in the distribution of funds.
They are also discussing a provision that would allow localities to opt in to legalization. Previously, they had sought to include an opt-out clause, but several counties, including both on Long Island, had already declared their intention to do so. [Read more at The New York Times]