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Newly passed legislation often represents the changing nature of public opinion and societal attitudes. In New York State, for example, the general public’s softening and more accepting view of marijuana consumption was highlighted when the state approved legal marijuana use in a medical setting in 2014. Seven years later, New York State passed the Marihuana Regulation & Taxation Act (“MTRA”) and officially legalized “the possession of adult-use recreational cannabis for all adults over the age twenty-one.” A highlight of the act is how it addresses how the current state of cannabis regulation in the state is suboptimal, and how its haphazard policing has contributed to the mass-incarceration of African American and Latinx communities. It wishes to acknowledge these negative parts of marijuana’s history while setting the stage for the emerging recreational cannabis market.

This post was originally published on the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal website on October 17, 2023. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.