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Cannabis Legalization Whitepaper

During the 2019 and 2020 Legislative Sessions, New York State lawmakers debated whether to legalize the most widely used illegal drug in the United States, marijuana, and how to do so responsibly.

While legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis was not adopted until 2021, lawmakers did pass bills to decriminalize possession of small amounts of cannabis, expunge records for low-level convictions, and regulate industrial hemp. This report describes these measures and their potential impact on county governments. 

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