Sen. Liz Krueger, D-New York, speaks to members of the New York State Senate during opening day of the 2017 legislative session at the Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, in Albany, N.Y. Krueger is one of the legislators proposing the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act. (Hans Pennink, Associated Press)

Advocates of recreational marijuana in New York renew push in final days of legislative session

ALBANY, N.Y. — With little more than a week left in the legislative session, some state lawmakers and community advocates are renewing the push for legalized recreational marijuana in New York state.

State Sen. Liz Krueger and Assembly member Crystal Peoples-Stokes are joining with advocates organized by the Drug Policy Alliance Monday afternoon to announce reintroduction of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act. Other supporters include the Immigrant Defense Project and VOCAL-NY.

The bill would establish a legal market for marijuana in New York and tax and regulate it like alcohol. Supporters say it’s time New York joined the growing list of states that recognize changing public perceptions about the drug. They say legalizing cannabis will eliminate harsh criminal penalties that disproportionately affect minorities while raising hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes.

The state already allows people with certain medical conditions to obtain non-smokeable forms of medical marijuana.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been dubious about legalizing weed beyond this limited medical use. Past efforts to expand use have stalled in legislative committees.