Last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised voters New York would legalize adult-use marijuana in the state. He announced the intention like it was a foregone conclusion. Those following closely know New York didn’t legalize last year, but Cuomo is again making the same promises while doing a little more work to ensure it happens this time around.
Cuomo will embark on a cross-country tour of legal states, including Massachusetts, Illinois, and either California or Colorado, to analyze the “different versions” available of state marijuana programs. He will ask regulators the ins and outs of these programs, learning what worked and what didn’t in their states. The Cuomo Administration will synthesize the intel and form an actionable legalization strategy for New York based on the information.
“Everybody has goals,” Cuomo said. “We want a goal of social equity, we want to make sure young people can’t get it, et cetera. We want to make sure there are advantages to communities that have been oppressed. But then you look at the aftermath and many of those goals haven’t been met, right?”
However, Cuomo is also “throwing cold water on the idea of legalizing pot outside of the state budget,” wrote the New York Daily News editorial board, in a critical opinion. The primary issue—the state budget is due in six weeks and Cuomo’s leaving on a marijuana tourism trip of a lifetime. The NY governor won’t attempt to legalize cannabis through a separate legislative bill, as the group couldn’t get the votes last year for this mechanism.