Legal cannabis

New York becomes the 15th state to legalize recreational marijuana... but what if your town decides to say no? Municipalities will have some discretion over what is allowed, and what is restricted. Smoking in town parks? Dispensaries? Home cultivation? There is likely to be heated debate in the months to come; some towns are already hearing from residents who are concerned about "family values."

Our guests discuss what's next: 

New York Now

Crystal Peoples-Stokes, the first African American woman to serve as Assembly majority leader, is the prime sponsor in her house of a bill to legalize adult recreational use of marijuana in New York.

In an interview for public radio and television with WXXI's Karen DeWitt, the Buffalo Democrat said the decades-long prohibition of cannabis had a detrimental effect on communities like the one she represents, and she wants the measure to funnel some of the revenue from the sale of the drug back to those communities.


With support from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and many members of the state legislature, 2020 could be the year when New York legalizes the adult use of recreational marijuana.

But the issue has become complicated by a widespread lung ailment linked to vaping. 

A measure to legalize cannabis for adults was proposed in 2019, as part of the state budget. It did not make it into the final spending plan, and it failed to win enough support to pass as a standalone bill in the state Senate.