Negotiations over a bill to legalize marijuana in New York have “reached a little bit of an impasse” over a provision related to impaired driving, a top senator said on Tuesday. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) gave a status update on talks between the legislature and the governor’s office, which have been working steadily to reach a deal on cannabis reform legislation. And while impaired driving policy seems to be a sticking point, the leader said she’s “optimistic it will be resolved sooner than later.” That optimism has been echoed by all parties in recent days, as legislators prepare to bring a legalization proposal to the floor. Stewart-Cousins said on a call with reporters that they are “extremely close” to an agreement, despite the remaining sticking points. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) similarly said on Monday that action is imminent and that lawmakers are aiming to advance legalization before passing the budget, which is due by April 1. When Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) unveiled his reform proposal, he insisted that it needed to be approved as part of the budget, but he seems to have backed down on that strategy.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 03/16/2021 12:57:00