Second Push To Legalize Recreational Marijuana In New York State Underway

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ALBANY – Lawmakers are working on a second push to legalize recreational marijuana.

The new bills come after an effort to include cannabis legalization in the state budget failed earlier this year.

The bill’s sponsor in the New York State Assembly, Democratic Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, called for a comprehensive plan to legalize cannabis, regulate hemp, and improve New York’s medical marijuana program.

Not every lawmaker, however, believes recreational marijuana will be a good thing for New York State. Cattaraugus County Assemblyman Joseph Giglio told WNYNewsNow that, after Colorado legalized the drug, a number of issues arose.

“There is no way for law enforcement to test drivers for that kind of impairment yet,” said Giglio. “In Colorado crashes are up, physical injuries are up.”

Giglio also said several rehab facilities in New York have petitioned to lawmakers to vote no to legalize marijuana.

“The rehab people are saying they have a tough enough problem with opioids, heroin and cocaine and all we are going to do is add to the problem,” explained Giglio. “If this bill ever comes to the floor the bill has to be really tight and really good; and then protect those under 21 and those even over 21 that are going to use it to make sure it doesn’t cause more problems than they already have.”

Peoples-Stokes believes that the core principles of the previous plan including “significant dedicated investment in communities most harmed by marijuana prohibition, equity in the industry, permitting individuals to grow cannabis for personal use, and addressing past criminal convictions,” had been preserved in the new bill.

The majority leader also said that the new plan would include public health benefits and provisions to address the consequences of the War on Drugs.

“A certain percentage of it will go towards communities that have been negatively impacted by mass incarceration,” Peoples-Stokes said.

“And a certain percentage of it would go for research, drug prevention and treatment,” she added.

The new plan also includes expansion to the state’s medical marijuana program by leaving it up to doctors and patients to decide when the therapeutic use of cannabis may be beneficial instead of restricting access to those with a specified qualifying medical condition.


  1. Doesn’t Giglio and the rehabs watch the news? There is more and more evidence that marijuana and hemp help opium addiction. these people are so brain washed they won’t even do 10 minutes of meaningful research. Also, FYI the THC in marijuana safely removes the toxic plaque in the brain that causes Alzheimers. It’s true, look it up.

    • I would also like to hear were Assemblyman Joseph Giglio got his info about more highway accidents in Colorado because of the marijuana laws of that state. I read a fairly recent article about legal usage did not seem to show any negative affects on traffic violations. There seems to be a problem with many people in the older generation still being negatively impacted from the lies of the movie ( Reefer Madness) from the 1930s. They refuse to take a look at all the scientific data that has proven that more positive results than negative have been found on this plant in recent research.

  2. A small rise in car accidents and fatalities does not equate to nor justify the millions who have been incarcerated and irreparably harmed by the war on marijuana users, especially people of color in the minority.

    Recent studies also showed that if you smoke marijuana you increased your chances of surviving heart attack and shortened and made your recovery easier, it also showed that your sex life was probably a little better than those that do not smoke.

    Recent studies showed that marijuana smokers tend to exercise more and not be overweight.

    Studies have also shown that marijuana smokers have a better quality of life and are happier about themselves and their surroundings than those that do not.

    In states where marijuana has been legalized, violence dropped, adolescent usage dropped, and over all crime rates dropped as well.

    The impact of legalization on state budgets has been quite dramatic as well, those that have legalized are running budgets with far less deficit and debts than those that do not.

    There are also far less complaints of violations of people’s rights by LAW ENFORCEMENT in those states.

    Let’s not forget to remind the good member of Cattaraugus County Assemblyman Joseph Giglio that states who have legalized are also not spending money towards incarcerating and probating the marijuana victims of law enforcement, nor are tax payers funding lawsuits and violations of people’s rights for busting in the wrong houses,(which has happened and is increasingly happening)…

    It is absolutely a travesty of justice and this drug war that innocent people have been shot down by law enforcement because law enforcement acted upon the wrong information, or just flatly screwed up and raided the wrong house and killed everyone inside. Without any charges filed somehow….

    Nope, we’ve had enough of your excuses and your propaganda to keep this stupid drug war scheme going any longer.

  3. Is this a joke? Seriously because there is nothing that is going to change the minds of the American public , which has garnered almost an overwhelming response from almost 70% say they support legalization, so as far as I’m concerned we the people have spoken and they, as our public servants l so they have an obligation to do what, the people ask, and its it’s clear we all support full legalization. Now there enters the lobbying going on behind close doors that we the public don’t see it nd that what I’m concerned about. Rep’s pockets getting padded with added promise of pay and play tactics could be at play and probably is and that’s sad!

  4. I think engaging in the subject is important, and legalization is the right path, but we need to consider the rights of people who choose not to be a part of its legalization. The rights of businesses to choose whether their employees can use therapy and still perform their job effectively and safely. This is a broad issue that is divisive and affects us economically, culturally and medically. It should be legal, but not at the cost of any particular part of our society. Freedom is what makes us who we are, but that shouldn’t mean intelligent thought and discourse be cast aside in the rush to move forward on this issue. Legalize it, solve the details, enact the law. Lastly, take the burden off of our law enforcement neighbors. Retrain and keep them safe. Help them help us.

  5. The other huge looming issue is that there is virtually no education on the subject except in publications that most don’t read in a regular like High Times or Skunk magazine but where it should really be is in history books because that’s exactly what this is, History! The American public have been deceived and lied to for close to 75 yrs now and it still continues even after 35 states have valid medical Marijuana programs and 10 states are allowed recreational use but it still remains on the schedule 1 list of illegal substances along side LSD and heroin. Is this Gov nuts or what? Why this blatant lie, that is not being litigated by countless law firms across the country, is beyond ludicrous at this point. There are still people in prisons across this Country who are still doing time for Marijuana Convictions from back in the 90’s! This is not a health issue but rather a criminal justice issue cause the injustice that continues across this Country is morally unconstitutional and racially biased. What happens when a police officer no longer has the right to illegally search for simple Marijuana possession? NYC is loving the fact that tickets are now written instead of an arrest as the revenue stream is far better than a useless arrest. Unlike NYC and the 5 boroughs the rest of the state has yet to decriminalize the drug which is even more nuts. We are talking about a harmless drug in which 3 out of 5 Americans smoke on a daily basis but yet Alcohol remains legal, RLMAO!!

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