ALBANY, N.Y. (AP - Modified) — The sponsor of a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana in New York says the proposal will not pass this session.
State Sen. Liz Krueger issued a statement Wednesday saying the legislature "came very close to crossing the finish line, but we ran out of time."
The Democrat says it "means countless more New Yorkers will have their lives up-ended by unnecessary and racially disparate enforcement measures before we inevitably legalize."
Krueger also says lawmakers made "great strides" toward improving the bill through months of conversation and negotiations.
Unfortunately, it is now clear that #MRTA will not pass this session. This is only a delay, but that delay means countless lives will continue to be upended by unnecessary enforcement. I will continue to push for #MarijuanaJustice and a rational, legal adult-use policy. pic.twitter.com/uPapIFcB56— Senator Liz Krueger (@LizKrueger) June 19, 2019
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo cast doubt earlier this month that legislation legalizing recreational marijuana in New York would pass before lawmakers adjourn. He released a statement wednesday afternoon:
I said from the beginning of this session that I believed marijuana legalization had the best chance of being passed in this year's budget. Today, the Senate confirmed that it does not have the votes to move forward with legalization.
I was asked earlier this week on a radio show if I would settle for decriminalization as a backup, and I said I keep fighting and only "tend to give up on hour twenty when there's four hours left in the session."
We have now reached "hour twenty."
Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana for far too long and it has to end.
I understand the desire to end session today as planned, and will give the legislature a message of necessity to expedite passage if required. This legislative proposal is not new. I first proposed this decriminalization measure in 2013, and again in this year's budget. The time to act is now.