A year ago, marijuana legalization looked like it was on a roll in the Northeast — it had already passed in three of the region’s states and was a priority for governors in three more, including the populous New York.
Now, after legislative efforts stalled and a vaping sickness stirred new concerns, the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut still want to make recreational pot legal. And they and Pennsylvania’s governor have been comparing notes on how to do it.
“This year, let’s work with our neighbors ... to coordinate a safe and fair system,” New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this week. His state hosted the four Democratic governors for an October summit on the issue.
But the states have different approaches and political appetites. They are contending with new questions as both opponents and advocates of legalization point to the vaping scare to make their cases. And in an election year for many state officeholders, the politics of pot legalization look all the more complex.
Supporters remain hopeful, particularly about New Jersey, where the question is now headed to voters this fall, and New York, where Cuomo spotlighted it in his State of the State speech Wednesday.