Search OpenLegislation Statutes

This entry was published on 2021-04-09
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Legislative findings and intent
§ 2. Legislative findings and intent. The legislature finds that
existing marihuana laws have not been beneficial to the welfare of the
general public. Existing laws have been ineffective in reducing or
curbing marihuana use and have instead resulted in devastating
collateral consequences including mass incarceration and other complex
generational trauma, that inhibit an otherwise law-abiding citizen's
ability to access housing, employment opportunities, and other vital
services. Existing laws have also created an illicit market which
represents a threat to public health and reduces the ability of the
legislature to deter the accessing of marihuana by minors. Existing
marihuana laws have disproportionately impacted African-American and
Latinx communities.

The intent of this act is to regulate, control, and tax marihuana,
heretofore known as cannabis, generate significant new revenue, make
substantial investments in communities and people most impacted by
cannabis criminalization to address the collateral consequences of such
criminalization, prevent access to cannabis by those under the age of
twenty-one years, reduce the illegal drug market and reduce violent
crime, reduce participation of otherwise law-abiding citizens in the
illicit market, end the racially disparate impact of existing cannabis
laws, create new industries, protect the environment, improve the
state's resiliency to climate change, protect the public health, safety
and welfare of the people of the state, increase employment and
strengthen New York's agriculture sector.

Nothing in this act is intended to limit the authority of any
district, government agency or office or employers to enact and enforce
policies pertaining to cannabis in the workplace; to allow driving under
the influence of cannabis; to allow individuals to engage in conduct
that endangers others; to allow smoking cannabis in any location where
smoking tobacco is prohibited; or to require any individual to engage in
any conduct that violates federal law or to exempt anyone from any
requirement of federal law or pose any obstacle to the federal
enforcement of federal law.

The legislature further finds and declares that it is in the best
interest of the state to regulate medical cannabis, adult-use cannabis,
cannabinoid hemp and hemp extracts under independent entities, known as
the cannabis control board and the office of cannabis management.