The announcement by Cuomo, made during a speech in which he presented his agenda for his first 100 days of his third term, leading the Empire State, comes months after a bruising’s greatest challenge on the left from activist and actress Cynthia Nixon, who supported a number of progressive priorities, including marijuana legalization.
In his speech, Cuomo mentioned the legalization of marijuana as part of an attempt to “deepen our fair agenda and address in particular the iniquities that have long been unfairly directed against African-American and minority communities.”
“We must also terminate the unrestrained and unfair criminal judgments and the debilitating criminal stigmatization and let us legalize the adult use of leisure marijuana once and for all, “said Cuomo.
Cuomo’s position on the issue has evolved since 2012 when he proposed t Hat State legislature moves to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana which are public views and say the goal was to avoid unnecessary misdemeanor charges against thousands of New Yorkers.
Currently, 10 states, like the District of Columbia, have legalized small amounts of marijuana for adult recreational use.
A study commissioned by Cuomo in January to investigate the effects of legalization of leisure marijuana found that greater state supervision would allow the state to adopt health and safety standards and “reduce racial differences in criminalization and infarction rates.” Progressivities have also pointed to increased tax revenues as a reason to legalize the pot.
Relaxing marijuana laws have already emerged as a key issue in the Primary Campaign for Democratic Presidential Campaign 2020 and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer presented a bill in June to decriminalize and regulate drug at a federal level. Cuomo himself was eyed as a potential 2020 candidate, but he hit the speculation in bed in November and said in an interview that he rules it out.