In the immortal words of Bob Dylan, the times they are a’changing.
As Americans prepare for the coming reopening of the economy after a lengthy and worrisome battle with a nightmare pandemic, many are predicting that the nation could see some sort of modern version of the “roaring twenties” – a period in American history in which prosperity and decadence were high priorities. Citizens of this great nation have been largely saving money over the last year, unable to spend much money on bars, restaurants, travel, or in other crowd-dependent industries.
When the floodgates open, they will open big, and a recent move by New York State could help the Empire State capitalize on this economic upturn in an enormous way.
The agreement reached Saturday, which is expected to be signed into law in the coming days, would expand the state’s existing medical marijuana program and set up a a licensing and taxation system for recreational sales.
It has taken years for the state’s lawmakers to come to a consensus on how to legalize recreational marijuana in New York. Democrats, who now wield a veto-proof majority in the state Legislature, have made passing it a priority this year, and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration has estimated legalization could eventually bring the state about $350 million annually.
And while there are still many Americans who find marijuana usage controversial, the economic and health impacts of the plant have been undeniable. States such as Colorado, one of the first to legalize recreational use of cannabis, have collected record tax revenues while driving down drug-related issues such as opioid overdoses.
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