Despite the three most powerful people at the Capitol publicly supporting marijuana legalization this year, state lawmakers left Albany last week with only a consolation prize.
Advocates, lobbyists and lawmakers attribute the legislative failure to tepid support from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, Democratic senators playing both sides of the issue, apathy from legislative leaders and a well-organized opposition.
According to one frustrated lobbyist who worked on the issue: "There's plenty of blame to go around."
As a result, legalization — which appeared to be a fait accompli in December when the governor prioritized it for the first 100 days of his third term — was declared dead on Wednesday by the Senate's sponsor.
"We came very lose to crossing the finish line, but we ran out of time," Sen. Liz Kreuger, a Manhattan Democrat, said in a statement.