Gov. Andrew Cuomo is working towards completing a proposal to legalize marijuana for adult use in New York State, which could be released as part of his executive budget in early 2019.
A spokesman for the governor reported that the administration is working to create a program for regulating adult use of marijuana that accurately reflects the views of New York citizens.
Other government officials have noted the program will include guidelines for where marijuana smoking will be permitted, similar to the laws and regulations in effect for tobacco currently.
The New York State Department of Health has recently been quoted as saying the benefits of legalization far outweigh the potential for a negative outcome, and the Drug Policy Alliance officials have noted the next legislative session brings with it a lot of hope for positive change.
Other groups, like Smart Approaches to Marijuana, who have had an office in New York for four years, remain opposed to the move to legalize and feel that the actual reality of legalization is not as near as some would like to believe.
Officials from Smart Approaches to Marijuana note they have a list of officials and groups ready to protest and oppose, making them a formidable opponent despite the current trends for approval both in the state of NY and across the country.
As previously reported on Grizzle, two of the main sticking points for New York legislation in the past has been support from the public (though support for legalization now stands at 63%) and corresponding support from officials in the government. Cuomo’s previously staunch disapproval of marijuana legislation has been steadily shifting this year. His current stance on the subject and proposed legislation is far from where he was just a year ago when discussing similar changes for the state.
Certain potential uses for tax revenue from marijuana legalization are also being considered, including a model where some of the funds accrued would go to help a badly failing subway system in New York City. However, it remains to be seen what will actually come to pass when legislators reconvene.