420 Day in New York brings Cannabis PSA campaign

New York is releasing public service announcements to inform residents about the state’s Cannabis Law.

Cannabis (also known as marijuana, pot, weed, and more) is now legal in New York State for adults 21 and older, though legal adult-use sales are yet to start.

Governor Kathy Hochul unveiled a new round of "Cannabis Conversations" on Wednesday.  The campaign is rolling out across the state on TV, radio, billboards, and social media.

Chris Alexander, the Executive Director of the NYS Office of Cannabis Management says,  "We want to make sure New Yorkers have the information we need."

He came on Good Day New York on 4/20 to discuss the program.  April 20, or 4/20, is widely recognized across the world as an informal cannabis holiday during which cannabis is often openly consumed, historically in protest of criminalization.

The state has set up a website with general information, information about what is legal and illegal, and the health impacts of cannabis.

"Today's new round of public service advertisements as part of the State's "Cannabis Conversations" campaign is another important step in our journey toward a safe, inclusive, equitable cannabis industry," Governor Hochul said. "Part of us building the strongest cannabis industry in the nation is making sure New Yorkers have relevant facts at their fingertips, and we remind all New Yorkers as they join 4/20 celebrations today that it's never safe to drive high, you shouldn't consume cannabis in disruptive ways, and cannabis can damage growing brains in youth."

What’s the difference between "cannabis" and "marijuana"?

Nothing. Under New York's Cannabis Law, the term cannabis is used instead of marijuana. Marijuana is a term that grew in popularity in the late 19th century to refer to cannabis and was historically used in a derogatory way towards certain ethnic groups. For this reason, the OCM is using the term cannabis to refer to marijuana and the term hemp to refer specifically to hemp. Under the Cannabis Law, "adult-use cannabis" is used to refer to non-medical cannabis, the state says.

What’s is legal marijuana in NY?

It’s illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to buy, possess or use adult-use cannabis in New York. Just like alcohol and tobacco. Businesses must have an adult-use license to legally sell cannabis in New York and adult-use retail dispensaries can lose their license for selling cannabis to anyone underage and/or face significant fines and penalties. Adults can be charged with criminal penalties for selling or giving cannabis products to someone underage. Youth cannabis use has been found to have negative social, physical, and mental health impacts on youth whose brains are still growing and developing. Because of this, youth cannabis remains illegal for individuals under 21.