New York


Upper New York police issue caution after seizing Fentanyl-laced weed

Police departments in upstate New York are issuing a warning about dangerous street drugs after seizing cannabis laced with fentanyl. The powerful drug has been a factor in a multitude of overdose deaths in the United States, which is still in the grips of an epidemic of opioid addiction.

The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office said that marijuana that was confiscated by officers in the parking lot of a Walmart in the town of Thompson on Monday had tested positive for fentanyl. The sheriff’s office said that it was the first time the drug had been discovered in the area.


NYC set to ban employers from requiring drug tests from job candidates

A bill approved by New York City Council would ban employers from requiring employees to undergo a drug test as part of the hiring process.

The bill was passed on Tuesday in a 41-4 vote as part of larger city initiative of trying to reduce the legal repercussions associated with using marijuana. Police in the city and in surrounding jurisdictions have cut down significantly on marijuana-related arrests and council also recently passed a resolution asking the state to legalize recreational cannabis.


New York City close to passing a bill that could ban conducting drug tests for marijuana

Proposed in February by Public Safety Committee chair Donovan Richards, the bill to “ban the Department of Probation from conducting drug tests for marijuana” has moved rapidly through the legislative process.

Richards hopes the bill will stop what he feels amounts to setting parolees up to fail. Currently in New York, nine parolees are sent back to jail for reasons like cannabis for every 10 that complete their parole, and he believes that needs to change.


New York Governor sets a new date for cannabis legalization

After hitting a major roadblock last month, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) promises he will have cannabis legalization passed in the Empire State by June, writes Calvin Hughes.


More US Colleges adding marijuana to their study programs

College student Grace DeNoya is used to people laughing when they learn what she is studying. Her degree centers on the marijuana plant -- an intoxicating drug that is illegal in many parts of the world.

“I say, ‘No, it’s a serious degree, a chemistry degree first and foremost. It’s hard work. Organic chemistry is a bear,” the 27 year old told the Associated Press.

DeNoya is one of the first students in a new four-year degree program in medicinal plant chemistry at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Michigan. The school, known as NMU, is one of an increasing number of colleges and universities that are preparing graduates for careers growing, researching and selling the plants.


Legal weed in New York just hit a major roadblock

Cannabis legalization has been officially omitted from New York's 2020 state budget, a move that could mean the policy shift is now a little more difficult to execute, writes Calvin Hughes.


Black Lawmakers threaten block of New York legalization sans racial justice measures

In New York, the process of getting marijuana legalized has uncovered some deep divides in the cannabis movement. Some of the state’s Black lawmakers say that unless racial justice is prioritized, they will withdraw their support of Governor Mario Cuomo’s legalization bill, which has also raised alarm over what some see as its over-reaching influence of medicinal marijuana conglomerates.


Gov. Cuomo now hopeful for legal marijuana by June

Legalizing recreational marijuana in New York will not be done in concert with the state budget for 2020, an aide to Governor Cuomo said Wednesday.

This comes after the Democratic governor said Tuesday that legislators in Albany are signaling that the legalization will be done separate from the budget. Since the budget is due by April 1, the agreement will not be in place in time to meet that deadline.

The governor had originally said he was optimistic that marijuana would be made legal in this year's budget.

The plan was to use the revenue from taxing marijuana to fund improvements to the MTA.


NY Governor “isn’t sure” if marijuana legalization will be in this year’s budget

After besting Democratic primary challengers more progressive on cannabis than he, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo seemed sure that he could legalize marijuana when voters re-elected him last year. In early January, he seemed sure that he could legalize adult cannabis use in the first 100 days of his third term. Now, however, Gov. Cuomo says he “isn’t sure” if marijuana legalization is on the table this year. And after Monday’s announcement to that effect, New Yorkers aren’t sure if they’ll have to wait until 2020 for legal weed.


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