New Yoprk runs out of time for pot bill

New York's Legislature ran out of time to pass a bill legalizing the sale and use of marijuana in the nation's 4th most populous state.

ALBANY, N.Y.  – Legislation adding New York to the roster of states legalizing recreational use of marijuana won’t be enacted into law this year.

Democratic State Sen. Liz Krueger from Manhattan said Wednesday expectations were foiled when lawmakers didn’t act on the proposal before the clock ran out on the 2019 legislative session.

"We came very close to crossing the finish line, but we ran out of time,'' Krueger said. "I have no doubt that prohibition is an outdated and irrational policy, and its days are numbered.''

The bill legalizing pot in the nation’s fourth most populous state is expected to be taken up by New York lawmakers next year.

Ten states, including Massachusetts and Vermont that border New York, have legalized recreational use of marijuana. New York was expected to do so this year under Democratic control of the legislature and the governor’s office.

Now, Illinois is poised to become the 11th state  to permit the adult use of pot. The bill allowing resident adults 21 and older to legally possess 30 grams of cannabis sailed through its legislature earlier this week. Nonresidents are limited to 15 grams.

Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker says he will sign the legislation into state law to take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

Details for this story were provided by CNHI state reporter Joe Mahoney in Albany. Reach him a jmahoney@cnhi.com.

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