A bill pushing to legalize recreational marijuana in New York is now officially dead.
New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo said the senate confirmed it did not have the votes to move forward with legalization on Wednesday, which was the end of the lawmaking session.
Sen. Liz Krueger (D) who sponsored the bill, confirmed in a statement that the legislation will not pass this year.
“It is clear now that MRTA is not going to pass this session. We came very close to crossing the finish line, but we ran out of time,” Krueger said, in reference to the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.
Governor Cuomo had cited the bill’s potential to end racially disproportionate policing around the drug as a reason to try again in the future.
“Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana for far too long, and it has to end,” he remarked.
Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes of Buffalo tweeted that the bill was “an opportunity to expunge the records of thousands of New Yorkers.”
Krueger optimistically said that the bill not passing was “only a delay.” However she also addressed “that delay means countless more New Yorkers will have their lives upended by unnecessary and racially disparate enforcement measures before we inevitably legalize.”