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State lawmakers press at the last minute to legalize marijuana



ALBANY – State legislators make a last-minute effort to legalize the recreational pot before the official close of the June 19 legislative session.

A senior Cuomo administration official confirmed Saturday at The Post that three-way talks between the executive, the assembly and the state senate were ongoing.

"We are discussing legislation and hope to make good progress," Senate spokesman Mike Murphy told The Post.

Many sources told The Post that lawmakers were trying to print their bills Sunday night – but they are reducing it to a bare minimum.

New bills and amendments are legally required to "age" for three days before politicians can vote.

If bills are printed on Sunday, lawmakers will be able to vote on the last official day of the session on Wednesday.

If the calendar does not work, Cuomo has the power to bypass the usual process with a "message of necessity" allowing lawmakers to vote.

Both the Assembly and the Senate have widely communicated the measure over the past week.

But some legislators say they are ill at ease with the negotiations of the 11th hour.

A member of the Assembly told The Post that they hoped "business would fall apart".

In the Senate, lawmakers in the suburbs, particularly the Long Island delegation, have taken the risk by talking about risks such as impaired driving.

But a recent poll by Siena College found that 55 percent of suburban voters and 59 percent of northern New Yorkers favored the legal pot. Fifty-two percent of New Yorkers have it.

Of all New Yorkers, 40% said they hoped this measure would disappear.

Three-quarters of voters under the age of 35 are on board.

And 53% of Republicans have taken the habit of taking it to justice

"It will be very interesting to see if they have the votes," Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan (R-Suffolk) said on Friday about the Dems.

Efforts to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes in New Jersey died in March. Most states with a legal pot had to submit the issue to voters in a referendum.


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