Cash-strapped New York state is “ripe” for the picking when it comes to legalizing marijuana for public sale and distribution, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday morning.
During an interview with WAMC radio’s Alan Chartock, Cuomo was asked about New Jersey’s successful Election Day referendum permitting the sale and recreational use of cannabis — the third state adjacent to New York to do so.
In recent years, New York approved the medicinal use of marijuana and decriminalized the possession of small amounts of cannabis as part of criminal justice reform efforts. But with New York now facing an unprecedented budget deficit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cuomo suggested that the time might now be right for the Empire State to give recreational marijuana the green light.
“The question becomes about the money and the distribution and the power,” Cuomo told Chartock. “I think this year (2021) it is ripe, because the state is going to be desperate for funding, even with [the possible election of Joe] Biden [as president], even with a stimulus. We’re still going to need funding, and it’s also the right policy. So I think we get there this year.” [Read more at Long Island Press]