(Reuters) – New York lawmakers passed a bill on Tuesday to legalize adult use of marijuana, which will make it the 15th state in the United States to allow recreational use of the drug.
Governor Andrew Cuomo said he was looking forward to signing the bill into law.
“New York has a storied history of being the progressive capital of the nation, and this important legislation will once again carry on that legacy,” he said in a statement.
New York’s state Senate passed the bill with 40-23 votes, while the Assembly voted 100-49.
The decision was also welcomed by NORML, a pro-marijuana group, which said that tens of thousands of New Yorkers were arrested every year over petty marijuana offenses, and that most were young, poor, and people of color.
“The legalization of marijuana is a racial and criminal justice imperative, and today’s vote is a critical step towards a fairer and more just system,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.
The New York State’s official website recently projected that tax collections from the adult-use cannabis program would reach $350 million annually and also create 30,000 to 60,000 new jobs across the State.