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NY Lawmakers Craft New Bill to Legalize Pot; Now Pending Senate Approval

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New York's pro-pot population is working hard to hastily advance their agenda. On Sunday, June 16th, New York lawmakers whipped together a new bill to legalize marijuana, pending approval from the state Senate. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

New York’s pro-pot population is working hard to hastily advance their agenda. On Sunday, June 16th, New York lawmakers whipped together a new bill to legalize marijuana, pending approval from the state Senate.

As reported by the NY Post, while details for the legislation have yet to be revealed, sources familiar with the matter, say it is similar to the bill suggested by Gov. Andrew Cuomo earlier on in the year.

The timing for the proposal, being so close to Wednesday’s deadline which will mark the end of the 2019 legislative session, suggests that Senate’s heads expect the deal has a good chance of being passed.

One source, a proponent of the pro-weed bill, put the odds of the bill being passed at 60-40. “It’s more likely it gets done than not, but there’s no guarantee,” said the source. “They’re operating on a clock and every minute matters when they’re trying to negotiate details with members.”

Backers of the bill held a rally on Sunday Morning outside Mr. Cuomo’s office in Midtown Manhattan, to put the pressure on. “We are here in support of legislators who have had our back all this time to support marijuana justice,” said Saki Fenderson, who operates store that sells cannabis-related goods in Brooklyn. “Marijuana justice is equity. Marijuana justice is criminal justice. Marijuana justice is repair and investment into our communities.”

The NY Senate’s Democrats have also been working to round up enough votes to pass a law to allow illegal immigrants to apply for driver’s licenses. The bill has already been passed by the Assembly, and may have enough backers to put the bill into action, despite the opposition of most of the Long Island delegation. Proponents of the measure say it will make roads safer by obligating migrants to take written and road driving tests, while opponents say this will be giving legitimacy to people who do not have the right to any legal documents.

However, on Friday Gov. Cuomo put a damper on the plans. He said that the legislation may work against them, adding transparency and making it easier for the federal government to gain access to the illegal immigrants. “You may inadvertently be creating a database that the federal government could wind up taking,” Cuomo suggested on Albany’s WAMC radio.

Senior Cuomo adviser Rich Azzopardi only commented to say, “We are making progress on all issues.” Senate Democratic spokesman Mike Murphy was equally discreet, saying, “The talks between the two houses continue on all big issues.”

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