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  • Max Politics Podcast: Senator Liz Krueger on Assessing the Governor's Budget and Top 2022 Priorities

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    State Senator Liz Krueger (photo: NY Senate)


    January 19, 2022 - Max Politics Podcast: Senator Liz Krueger on Assessing the Governor's Budget and Other 2022 Priorities

    State Senator Liz Krueger, chair of the Senate's finance committee, joined the show to discuss Governor Kathy Hochul's Executive Budget and the hearings Krueger will soon hold on it, as well as other priorities for the Manhattan Democrat including ethics and elections reforms, implementation of the state's marijuana legalization, and more.

    Listen to

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  • Cannabis is a Once-A-Generation Opportunity for New York, Let’s Not Waste It

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    The push for legal cannabis (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    This past year was remarkable for New York’s cannabis industry. After years of debate, the Legislature passed the Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA), which legalizes and regulates recreational cannabis and will lay the foundation for a recreational program.

    Recently, the Cannabis Control Board (CCB) began loosening restrictions on medical cannabis (including allowing patients to buy a 60-, rather than a 30-day supply, along with the purchase of whole

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  • Missing Pieces of the Pot Discourse

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    The State Capitol in Albany (photo: CC-BY-SA-3.0/Matt H. Wade at Wikimedia Commons)


    In a recent column published by Gotham Gazette, Manhattan District Attorney candidate Diana Florence extolled the push to commercialize marijuana in New York as a means to shore up our budget issues and solve social justice inequities. In short, the former Assistant District Attorney’s piece, like many other arguments about moving full-steam ahead with

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  • Legalizing Marijuana the Right Way

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    Mayor de Blasio, DA Vance & others discuss marijuana legalization (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    Because of the coronavirus crisis, New York is facing a massive budget hole and calls for innovative solutions to dig us out of this fiscal crisis. While Governor Cuomo recognizes the tremendous tax windfall that would come with the legalization of adult-use cannabis, this is about more than just tax revenue.

    The reality is that New Yorkers will face a mounting racial and criminal justice crisis without a more

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  • Democrats Hold Senate Majority, All of State Government; Here's What's on Their Agenda

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    Gov. Cuomo, Speaker Heastie, Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins (photo: Governor's Office)


    Despite facing tough battles in districts that they narrowly won two years ago and being on the verge of defeat in some places, Democrats also flipped a few seats and will grow their large majority in the State Senate, retaining control of both chambers of the Legislature by wide margins. Along with the ongoing tenure of third-term Governor Andrew Cuomo, Democrats will keep full control of New York state government through 2022, the next state election

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  • Medical Cannabis Gave Me My Life Back; The Program Should Be Expanded to Help Even More People

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    Medical Marijuana has major benefits, the author writes (photo: Wikimedia Commons)


    As a teenager growing up on Long Island, I struggled with both anxiety and depression daily. After being attacked and hurt in a workplace injury during college I began experiencing symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder daily, and night terrors every time I attempted to sleep. My anxiety worsened considerably and became a constant companion; I was deeply depressed. Getting up was difficult, attending school felt impossible, and going to my part-time jobs was out of the question.

    I

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  • With Marijuana Back on the Agenda, It's Time New York Lawmakers Get Serious About Social Equity

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    Rally to call for legalization of adult marijuana use (photo: @equityorg)


    Governor Cuomo's rollout of a reworked Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act means this may finally be the year New Yorkers get access to legal weed. And while a similar legalization push floundered in the statehouse last year, many are optimistic about its odds during the 2020 legislative session. Not only are the vast ...

  • Cuomo’s Cannabis Bill Locks Out Farmers and Preserves Illegal Market in New York

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    (photo: @nysmallfarma)


    As a state government ends the prohibition of cannabis, it can choose to regulate so as to create an industry that favors industrially produced cannabis from large national players and/or it can choose to create a small-scale local cannabis industry. As we’ve now witnessed in Canada, the industrial cannabis industry sacrifices quality for quantity, producing mediocre expensive cannabis, grown at great threat to our planet due to the massive amount of greenhouse gas emissions from indoor cultivation. And as Canada’s example shows,

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  • Reactions Roundup: Elected Officials, Advocates & Others on Cuomo's 2020 State of the State Speech

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    (photo: Darren McGee/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo)


    On Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo presented his annual State of the Stateaddress from Albany. He opened by highlighting the challenges faced by Americans, and New Yorkers, over recent weeks and years, including earthquakes in Puerto Rico, escalating tensions with Iran, and the surge in hate crimes against Jewish New Yorkers.

    Cuomo gave highlights of New York

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  • Issues to Watch in the 2020 Legislative Session in Albany

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    (photo: governor's office)


    The 2019 legislative session in Albany was, as Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins described it, “[T]he most historic and productive legislative session in New York State history, period.” The Democratic-controlled Legislature notched up a long list of victories, including many progressive bills that had languished under prior Republican leadership in the state Senate. But there remained unfinished business, imperfect new laws, and pressing concerns that have carried forward and will define the legislative calendar in 2020, which

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  • 19 Things Melinda Katz Promised To Do As Queens District Attorney

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    Melinda Katz (photo: Queens Borough President office)


    Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is well-positioned to be elected the next district attorney for Queens, filling a vacancy created earlier this year by longtime DA Richard Brown, who had not planned to run for another term even before his death in May. Katz emerged victorious in a hard-won Democratic primary that was decided after a recount and court battle by a razor thin margin, and she is now facing Joseph Murray, an attorney, former NYPD officer, and barely known Republican challenger in a borough where

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  • American Prosecutors Need Not Wait for Marijuana Legalization

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    Four New York City District Attorneys (photo: John McCarten/City Council)


    Last week, Governor Cuomo signed a bill effectively decriminalizing recreational use of marijuana. Once in effect at the end of August, New Yorkers charged with possession of less than two ounces of marijuana will face fines instead of criminal charges. Possession of over two ounces of marijuana maintains high fines and the possibility of jail time.

    It is well known that throughout the United States communities of color have been disproportionately affected by

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  • Cuomo's Unfinished Business: 3 Issues the Governor Says Will Form Basis of His 2020 Agenda

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    Gov. Cuomo (photo: Kevin P. Coughlin/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo celebrated the achievements of 2019 on Friday, calling the legislative session an “overwhelming success” at a wrap-up news conference in the Capitol. During the January to June session, Cuomo and the state Legislature, with its two Democratic majorities for the first time in a decade, moved legislation dealing with a long list of issues, from combating climate change to expanding voting and reproductive rights, new gun regulations to a cap on annual property tax

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  • Stuck on Marijuana Legalization, Could Lawmakers Offer a Referendum as Cuomo Suggested?

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    the state capitol (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    In an interview at the end of May, Governor Andrew Cuomo made a provocative assertion: he said opponents to recreational marijuana legalization in the state Senate have argued no state in the country has legalized the controversial measure without first putting the question to voters in a ballot referendum. No such referendum has taken place in New York, but Cuomo -- who has pushed for marijuana legalization this year -- indicated on WNYC

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  • For Racial Justice, Cuomo and Legislative Leaders Must Pass Marijuana Legalization

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    (photo: Governor's Office)


    We are days away from the end of the legislative session and among the many important issues Governor Cuomo and New York legislators have left to accomplish is addressing the racially-biased and unjust enforcement of marijuana prohibition in our state.

    The Marijuana Regulation & Taxation Act (MRTA), currently being considered by New York lawmakers, is one of the clearest pathways toward reducing racism in New York. In the last 20 years our beloved state has earned the dubious distinction of becoming the marijuana arrest

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  • 10 Issues to Watch in Albany’s Post-Budget Legislative Session

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    (photo: governor's office)


    Although the state budget approved earlier this week included several progressive priorities for Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature, there are still three months left in the legislative session this year and a list of remaining items on which the governor and legislators have promised action.

    Taking advantage of their party’s newfound control over both houses of the Legislature, Democrats moved a long list of bills already this year, both prior to and in the budget. Though there has been a

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  • Cuomo's Budget Priority Balancing Act

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    Gov. Cuomo on Long Island (photo: governor's office)


    Before Democrats reclaimed the state Senate last year, Governor Andrew Cuomo spent years triangulating with the Democratic-controlled Assembly, two factions of Senate Democrats, and the Republican Senate majority. The arrangement allowed him a heavy hand over the legislative and budget agendas in Albany and gave him the ability to claim credit and deflect blame as he saw fit (though critics didn’t always buy his explanations). Progressive legislation regularly withered on the vine

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  • How to Earn Support for Marijuana Legalization from New York Legislators of Color

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    (photo: Jake Plowden)


    The cannabis industry has expanded dramatically in recent years. The state of California led the way on the legalization of medical marijuana with the first dispensaries opening there more than 20 years ago. Colorado legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, and has since been joined by nearly a dozen other states and the District of Columbia.

    Yet in the midst of this cannabis market boom, communities of color have too often been left watching from the sidelines, excluded from the opportunity to create jobs

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Getting to Yes on Marijuana Legalization, with Assemblymember Richard Gottfried

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    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    March 20, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Support for Marijuana Legalization, with Assemblymember Richard Gottfried

    assemblymember richard gottfried 150Assemblymember Richard Gottfried was a co-sponsor of a marijuana legalization bill in the 1970s. In 2019, he's still pushing for allowing adult-use

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  • Max & Murphy Podcast: Concerns About Marijuana Legalization, with Nassau County Executive Laura Curran

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    Ben Max, left, of Gotham Gazette, and Jarrett Murphy, right, of City Limits


    March 20, 2019 - Max & Murphy Podcast: Opposition to Marijuana Legalization, with Nassau County Executive Laura Curran

    dav carlucci senateAs Governor Cuomo has made legalization of adult-use marijuana a top priority this year, he also has said he believes that local governments should be able to decide if

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  • Automatic Sealing? Expungement? As They Legalize Marijuana, New York Lawmakers Negotiate Clearing Criminal Records

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    Mayor de Blasio discusses marijuana policy (photo: Michael Appleton/Mayor's Office)


    New York seems poised to enact the country’s first automatic record-clearing guidelines for past marijuana convictions. Doing so, advocates and officials say, could remove barriers for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers whose convictions -- for behavior that may soon be legal -- complicate tasks ranging from obtaining child custody to job searching to renting an apartment.

    Automatic record-clearing is part of a larger ongoing discussion on legalizing adult

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  • 10 Burning Questions After Cuomo’s State of the State and Budget

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    Gov. Cuomo with Lt. Gov. Hochul & legislative leaders (photo: Mike Groll/Governor's Office)


    Governor Andrew Cuomo, a third-term Democrat, delivered his State of the State speech earlier this month, laying out his proposed $175.2 billion executive budget for the 2020 state fiscal year that begins April 1. Calling it his “justice agenda,” Cuomo unveiled a long list of proposals, some new and

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  • Colleges Likely to Continue Bans If New York Legalizes Recreational Marijuana Use

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    St. John's University (photo via St. John's on flickr)


    The legalization of adult recreational marijuana use is on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s 2019 agenda for the first 100 days of his new term, and the governor is expected to announce details of his legalization proposal on Tuesday, during a joint State of the State speech and executive budget presentation. There appears to be support for the measure, at least the general concept of

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  • While Waiting on the State, Steps on Marijuana for the Mayor and NYPD

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    (Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office)


    Smoking marijuana in public will only be legalized if the New York State Assembly and Senate – huffing and puffing – change the penal law.

    With no change, the real problem in New York City is the collateral consequences – past, present, and future – arrests for marijuana cause thousands of black and Hispanic New Yorkers disproportionately impacted by the NYPD’s approach. These consequences include issues when applying for a license or job, or leading to deportation proceedings as mandated by

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  • Legalize To Our Demise

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    Council Member King, one of the authors (photo: Emil Cohen/City Council)


    As we talk about legalizing marijuana, or cannabis, in New York, let’s look back on our nation’s history and see the good of endorsing harmful substances. We recognize that alcohol is legal, but let's face it -- it isn't good for you. Alcohol impairs judgement and making it easily available for adults means it is easily available for young people. For decades, our nation has seen alcoholism ruin marriages, families, and lives. We've seen countless

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