New York state's Senate and Assembly both passed a bill on Tuesday, March 30, that will legalize recreational marijuana in the Empire State.
Following suit, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo released a statement on Twitter saying he was "Looking forward to signing this legistlation into law."
If the bill is signed, CNN explains, legalization of the plant would be effective immediately, but legal recreational sales of it wouldn't start for another year or two. Moreover, it would make the Empire State the 15th state in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana.
What this means for New Yorkers is that they would be able to possess up to three ounces of marijuana and 24 ounces of marijuana concentrate, as well as being able to grow up to six plants in their home.
BREAKING: We’ve LEGALIZED recreational marijuana in New York!!— Sen. Mike Gianaris (@SenGianaris) March 30, 2021
The new law will include social equity programs and will allocate revenue to the communities most affected by the ineffective war on drugs 😌🌿 pic.twitter.com/2IkWOIno94
The bill also expunges the criminal records of tens of thousands of people, says CNBC, and it will mean that recreational marijuana users will know exactly what they're getting when they buy cannabis.
Naturally, the bill is being met with some concern from people worrying it'll make roads less safe, or cause harm to consumers' bodies. However, a number of scientific studies have shown how consuming marijuana recreationally or medically can, in fact, be beneficial.
What science says about marijuana
It's normal to question the safety of consuming marijuana. After all, it's illegal in most countries, and from a young age we're told sayings like "Don't do drugs, stay in school."
That said, there are some benefits to taking marijuana.
As research published on Healthline explains, it's believed the benefits of marijuana come from its compounds called cannabinoids, like cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a chemical that impacts the brain, making it function better without a high, and then there's THC, which also comes from marijuana and has pain-relieving properties, says Health Europa.
Some of the positive effects marijuana can have on us include pain management, reduced inlammation, reduced anxiety, better sleep management, regulated seizures, slower development of Alzheimer's, antibiotic potential, and more.
It's still a contentious debate amongst scientists, as well as amongst politicians. However, there are clear benefits of taking marijuana, and for the time being in New York, it may become legalized very soon.