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progress towards NY legal recreational marijuana

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes is confident recreational marijuana will be legalized in New York during this legislative session.

“I’m actually more confident than I have been in the past,” said Peoples-Stokes.

In years past, the assemblywoman has proposed bills to legalized marijuana, but all died before being approved. In 2020, the bill was pushed back for more pressing legislation concerning the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve just finished with a few phone calls from staff that are still in the process of negotiating both with the senate staff, as well as the governor’s team,” said Peoples-Stokes with how active negotiations are with the bill.

While she believes this bill will help future entrepreneurs, she is more concerned with the legislation helping the people who have already been criminal prosecuted for low-level drug offenses.

“It will provide opportunities to invest in the lives of literally thousands of people, whose lives have been negatively impacted by incarceration. All social scientists will tell you that when people are incarcerated it has a negative impact on your children, on their families, and clearly on their communities where they live,” added People-Stokes.

The Assembly Majority Leader said she doesn’t believe the investigations into Governor Cuomo and his allegations will be a distraction to lawmakers in Albany. While many democrats have called for Cuomo to resign, she has not.

“I think that should be his decision whether he resigns or not,” said Peoples-Stokes. “I think what we see, now more often than not, is a political process and I come from the perspective that it should be both a legal process and a moral process.”