Local leaders talk imminent NYS recreational marijuana legalization

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Recreational marijuana is one step closer to becoming legal in New York State.

The final bill that could potentially legalize marijuana was introduced in the state legislature this weekend.

This latest bill would be an agreement to legalize, tax and regulate adult-use cannabis.

The bill imposes a 13% tax and 9% of that will go to the state.

In addition, the other 4% will be split between the county and municipalities.

News 4 talked with the City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown to see how this money could be used to help Buffalo.

“We will, in the city of Buffalo, work with the members of the legislator, work with the members of the community, to make sure that the money gets to low-income communities and that they have the support that they need to grow out of poverty and get stronger,” Mayor Brown told us.

District Attorney John Flynn says driving while under the influence of marijuana would still be considered a misdemeanor under this new law.

The bill also directs funding into research, for better roadside testing.

And the measure will allow municipalities to decide for themselves if they want to participate.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

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