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Kevin Jarrett

New York PAC Forms to Push Legalization Convention

A political action committee has been formed in New York hoping to convince voters to convene a constitutional convention, which the group calls the “only viable and reasonable alternative,” to the state legislature for legalizing adult cannabis use, according to a NY Daily News report.

Jerome Dewald, a 66-year-old venture capitalist who is leading the efforts of Restrict and Regulate in NY State 2019, said that legislation to legalize recreational cannabis use in the state has been stalled by state lawmakers for several years.

In January, the “Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act” was introduced in both chambers of the state legislature. The Senate version was referred to the Finance Committee, while the House version was referred to the Codes Committee. Neither measure has moved out of the respective committee.

“We simply don’t believe that (legislators) will achieve any objectively reasonable result in less than five years,” Dewald said in the report, adding that the group plans on sending representatives to festivals and other events, with a more traditional ad campaign launching in the fall.

State Sen. Liz Krueger, who sponsored the legalization measure in the Senate, said she has “no idea what kind of momentum” the campaign will have.

Under New York law, the question of whether to hold a constitutional convention must be put to voters every 20 years. If approved by voters, an election would be held next year to elect delegates for a 2019 convention.

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