Joe: 106.7 WIZN, W-I-Z-N. It’s the Rolling Stones. “Miss You” heard Tom Petty before that. I’m Joe Vega taking you through your Wednesday rock and ride Home. And I’m joined now by Paul Harding, from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. Hello, Paul?
Paul: Hey, Joe, how are you?
Joe: I’m doing well. So last week, the State of New York passed marijuana legalization legislation. And, well, for our New York listeners I just thought I’d bring you on the program. And just explain to us exactly what this law means?
Paul: Well, New York is catching up to Vermont here. You’ve got a very, fairly identical law, but, you know, again, one of the big states that they think probably once a New York goes, the rest of the country starts to go pretty quickly here. So, but generally what we’ve got is, you know, gotta be over the age of 21. And you too… At this point, the law is pretty simple.
You can grow up tree plants in your home. If you have a past criminal conviction of marijuana, it’s expunged, gets taken off your record. And then, within about 14 to 16 months, you’re actually gonna have shops open where people can go and get their legal fill of their own.
Joe: So, this law actually includes commercialization because I know Vermont is toying with that idea.
Paul: Yeah, they truly are.
Joe: But they haven’t passed those laws yet. But, New York is his heading down that road, right?
Paul: Yeah. The next 24 months…12 to 24 months, New York’s gonna, you know, have what they have in Massachusetts and other places. It’s gonna…stop in the shop, and get what you need. And I think Vermont is gonna do that too. And I think, you know, Vermont was kinda a little bit ahead of New York. Now, New York’s kinda just jumped ahead a little bit, and I think they’re gonna be continuous.
I mean, the states are so close that we go back and forth between the states. And I suspect you’re gonna have very similar legislation. And that’s what the Vermont legislature is looking at, a very similar bill that was passed here in New York.
Joe: Gotcha. So, is this bill in effect immediately? Can you start growing weed today if you live in New York?
Paul: You can start growing it in New York right now. Yeah, the governor’s already signed it. Again, up to three plants. Once they start selling it commercially, you grow up to six plants. But right now it’s three, and you can possess a small amount. So, I think it was up to three ounces of marijuana. It is no longer a criminal penalty. But the truth is, you know, the police aren’t walking around in…you know, with a balancing beam. So, you know, they’re just gonna look to see if you’ve got something recreational, you’re gonna be able to keep it on you. And that seems to be the momentum.
Joe: All right. Well, thanks for coming on Paul.
Paul: Talk soon.
Joe: Remember you can call Paul or any of the fine lawyers at Martin, Harding & Mazzotti at any time at 1800LAW1010. Or, go online to 1800law1010.com. Mel Allen’s taking over from here. He’s got music from Dire Straits and Soundgarden next.