NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The bill to legalize marijuana in New York, which seems to have more lives than a cat, appears to be on life support. Lawmakers are focusing instead on a bill to expunge the records of tens of thousands previously convicted.

(Photo: Chaideer Mahyuddin/AFP/Getty Images)

In Albany, the bill to legalize recreational marijuana is now known in some circles as the “zombie bill,” the bill that would never die. Even as sources in both the Senate and the Assembly told CBS2’s Marcia Kramer it is unlikely to pass, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is unwilling to give up the fight. He keeps pushing for passage, but even he seemed to have misgivings.

“I don’t know. Different people say different things on the number of members who are ready support it, so I don’t know. That is still a question mark,” Cuomo said on an Albany radio station on Tuesday morning.

MORESources: Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office, Senate & Assembly Meet To Discuss Marijuana Legalization

Sources said negotiations bogged down over a number of issues, including whether localities that don’t want to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana could opt out and refuse to do it, and how to spend the $300 million generated by taxes on the sale of marijuana.

Cuomo had wanted all the money to go into the general fund, sources said, while others wanted it to go to communities impacted by marijuana arrests. On Tuesday, he seemed to soften his stance.

“I support the concept that the communities that have paid the highest price socially and demographically and economically should now share in the revenue,” the governor said.

That said, sources told Kramer that the lawmakers are now focusing their efforts on a bill to decriminalize the possession of marijuana and expunge the records of those who previously were arrested.

The bill would erase the arrest records of up to 600,000 New Yorkers — mostly black and Latino — charged with possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Again, while sources in both the Senate and the Assembly said legalizing recreation marijuana wont happen, the end of legislative session in Albany is a strange time. Things declared dead can sometimes rise from the ashes.

Comments (2)
  1. The concession should be straight forward, honestly. Money to the communities who participate with a portion earmarked for state-wide initiatives. If a municipality wishes to opt-out, so be it, but do not expect part of the revenue sharing. If Long Island, collectively, wants to opt-out, then they should not reap the rewards. Basically, put up or shut up, at this point. A majority of New Yorkers (and myself as an ex-New Yorker) are in support of legalization. Decades of propaganda and nearly a century of prohibition initially targeted at the industrialization of hemp have adversely affected hundreds of thousands of citizens in the state’s history. Hopefully, people remember how their representatives failed to live up to the representation they were promised when they next take to the polls.

    I have no personal interest in recreational marijuana, but I also have no problem with it. My wife uses medical marijuana, and gaining accessibility to it was one of the reasons that we had moved from the state. While there is a limited medicinal program in place, either full legalization or expansion of the medical program to include smokable products is the one thing that is needed so that we would want to move back. Sadly, we were hoping that it would be a move that we could make in 2020, but that looks more and more like it is not happening. While the tinctures and edibles do work for some people, we have tried that route with her, to little effect.

  2. Brian Kelly says:

    Marijuana consumers deserve and demand equal rights and protections under our laws that are currently afforded to the drinkers of far more dangerous and deadly, yet perfectly legal, widely accepted, endlessly advertised and even glorified as an All-American pastime, alcohol.

    Plain and simple!

    Legalize Nationwide!

    It’s time for us, the majority of The People to take back control of our national marijuana policy. By voting OUT of office any and all politicians who very publicly and vocally admit to having an anti-marijuana, prohibitionist agenda! Time to vote’em all OUT of office. Period. Plain and simple.

    Politicians who continue to demonize Marijuana, Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Marijuana possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through Marijuana home raids, seizures and forfeitures, and so-called “Addiction Specialists” who make their income off of the judicial misfortunes of our citizens who choose marijuana, – Your actions go against The Will of The People and Your Days In Office Are Numbered! Find new careers before you don’t have one.

    The People have spoken! Get on-board with Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, or be left behind and find new careers. Your choice.

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