The Examiner

Cuomo Aiming to Legalize Recreational Marijuana in NY

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in a speech today that he will advocate for the legalization of recreational marijuana.

“The fact is we have had two criminal justice systems: one for the wealthy and the well off, and one for everyone else,”  Cuomo commented at the speech in Manhattan, noting the injustice has “for too long targeted the African-American and minority communities.”

Democrats captured the state Senate in Nov., and the Assembly is already controlled by Democrats, likely setting the stage for the swift approval of legalization in early 2019. As Cuomo looks ahead to his third term, the Monday speech detailed his goals for his first 100 days of the new year.

Cuomo was previously against legalization but has changed his view on the issue. There has been wide speculation that Cuomo might run for president in 2020.

Neighboring New Jersey is also moving towards legalizing recreational use of marijuana; in all, 10 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana.

New York State would see a new tax revenue surge of between $248 million and $677 million in the first year of legalization, according to a state Department of Health commission report released in July. How to use that revenue is up for debate, with some advocating for the money to be spent on New York City’s subway system while others propose investing it in black and Latino communities where the criminalization of marijuana has hit hard.


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