The hope of marijuana legalization in New York this year floundered after consensus evaded a bill seeking its legalization.

The bill's sponsor, Sen. Liz Krueger, a Manhattan Democrat confirmed that the legislation will not pass this year.

“It is clear now that M.R.T.A. is not going to pass this session,” commented Senator Liz Krueger of Manhattan referring to the  Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.

Instead, some legislators wanted to pick a backup plan that would decriminalize marijuana in place of full legalization.

The failure to reach a consensus on key details on how to regulate the post-legalized recreational marijuana frustrated the move.

 “We came very close to crossing the finish line, but we ran out of time,” Krueger said and added that the bill missing the session was “only a delay.”  

The Senator is confident that “progressive lawmakers” would push for marijuana legalization next year.

The New York State Assembly's legislative session that started in January ended on Wednesday.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also acknowledged the bill's potential to end racially disproportionate policing over the drug’s possession.

He said that is a valid reason to give the bill another try in the future.

“Communities of color have been disproportionately impacted by laws governing marijuana for far too long, and it has to end," Cuomo said.

Calling the bill “an opportunity to expunge the records of thousands of New Yorkers,” Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes of Buffalo lamented the legislation's failure.

Areas of differences

There are lingering differences on how to regulate a legalized marijuana industry.

The intraparty battle between state officials and lawmakers is one reason that failed an agreement. The issue was who should control the estimated $1.7 billion sales from the recreational market each year.

Gov Cuomo wanted a new state agency to oversee the industry and monitor how the money is being spent.

However, legislators, led by Krueger and Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes of Buffalo are adamant that statutory guarantee is imperative to fix a certain part of the revenue for reinvestment into communities that suffered from the war on drugs.

If such a guarantee is not forthcoming, many lawmakers, especially non-white will not support the legalization bill for marijuana in New York.

“I’m not willing to create a market that will allow existing wealthy people to gain wealth and leave out the people that I represent,” Peoples-Stokes said in a media interview.  GettyImages-Marijuana New York A woman smokes a marijuana cigarette during a legalization party at Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto, Ontario, October 17, 2018. Photo: GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images

Coalition celebrates bill demise

Meanwhile, the ant-marijuana coalition comprising law enforcement officials, parents, teachers and health professionals celebrated the bill’s demise and dubbed it a victory over a “predatory pot industry.”

They pointed to the perils to traffic safety and the suffering of communities from drug abuse.

A recent poll showed that 55 percent of voters are in favor of New York marijuana legalization.

Organizations like NORMLpitch for the legalization of marijuana. There are also companies like Weedmaps spearheading campaigns to legalize marijuana and developed apps to support communities in leveraging the benefits of legal marijuana.