Cannabis lovers in New York will soon be able to indulge in recreational marijuana legally. According to Governor Andrew Cuomo, the use of weed will be permitted in the state sometime in the near future.
“We will legalize adult-use recreational cannabis, joining 15 states that have already done so,” he tweeted on Monday (Jan. 11). “This will raise revenue and end the failed prohibition of this product that has left so many communities of color over-policed and over-incarcerated.”
Cuomo’s tweet comes after he announced a proposal to create an office to oversee and regulate weed-related programs — a move he says will help rack up over $300 million in tax revenue and increase employment opportunities for New Yorkers.
“Despite the many challenges New York has faced amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also created a number of opportunities to correct longstanding wrongs and build New York back better than ever before,” Cuomo said at the time. ”Not only will legalizing and regulating the adult-use cannabis market provide the opportunity to generate much-needed revenue, but it also allows us to directly support the individuals and communities that have been most harmed by decades of cannabis prohibition.”
Cuomo’s previous attempts to legalize recreational marijuana were unsuccessful, but he believes an approval is on the way given the current state of the economy. “This is a year where we do need the funding, and a lot of New Yorkers are struggling,” he continued. “So I think this year will give us the momentum to get it over the goal line.”
If the governor’s request to legalize recreational cannabis is approved, New York will join New Jersey, California, Massachusetts and a few other states that have already authorized the use, possession and sale of weed. Marijuana was also decriminalized at the federal level as of last month.