Legal marijuana could be rolled into Cuomo’s 2019 budget

Mike Montone
December 11, 2018 - 3:17 pm
Woman holding a cannabis or marijuana joint in her hand. Joint is dipped in oil or wax and sprinkled with kief

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS) -- Legal marijuana could get rolled up in Gov. Andrew Cuomo's 2019 budget.

Aides say Cuomo is preparing to introduce a plan for legal pot in New York, the New York Post reports.

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“The goal of this administration is to create a model program for regulated adult-use cannabis — and the best way to do that is to ensure our final proposal captures the views of everyday New Yorkers,” said Cuomo spokesman Tyrone Stevens. “That’s why Governor Cuomo launched 17 listening sessions in cities across the state to give every community in every corner of New York the opportunity to be heard. Now that the listening sessions have concluded, the working group has begun accessing and reviewing the feedback we received and we expect to introduce a formal comprehensive proposal early in the 2019 legislative session.”

This spring, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer released a study that estimated a $3.1 billion market for legal pot in New York, and some have suggested that tax revenue could go to the MTA.

There is also a social justice issue in play -- a disproportionate number of black and Latino New Yorkers are arrested for marijuana possession.

In addition to listening sessions, a 20-member task force has been appointed to draft marijuana legislation.

Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-NY) says marijuana should be sold in its smokeable form with some restrictions.

“The law ought to allow smoking of cannabis, with rules similar to limits on where you can smoke tobacco — but not necessarily the same,” said Assemblyman Richard Gottfried (D-Manhattan). “We probably wouldn’t allow smoking cannabis out in public, but might allow it in some establishments. The health questions about smoking cannabis are nothing like problems with tobacco, in part because no one would smoke a comparable quantity.”

Massachusetts has already legalized pot, and New Jersey is currently hashing out legislation that would legalize and tax marijuana.