New York Governor to Announce Recreational Marijuana Plan in the New Year

By Kaitlyn M.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will be announcing a recreational marijuana plan in 2019. Will he actually follow through on his promise to bring marijuana to the people of New York?

New York has been fighting for legal marijuana for a long time. Medical marijuana is available but recreational use is prohibited by the state. But certain officials have been changing their opinions to improve their appeal overall.  

Governor of New York Thoughts on Marijuana

Governor of New York Andrew Cuomo has flipped his entire stance on marijuana over the course of this year. Cuomo has said in the past that he was anti-marijuana all the way. In a statement from last year, Cuomo mentioned that he is not ok with recreational marijuana.

He said, “There are two sides to the argument, but I, as of this date, I am unconvinced on recreational marijuana. If you choose to use marijuana recreationally, you know the law. The flip side argument is that it’s a gateway drug and marijuana leads to other drugs, and there is a lot of proof that is true.”

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But earlier in 2018, he changed his tune and asked the New York Health Department to do extensive research on what would happen if marijuana was legalized in the state, and the report came out in favor of recreational use. While Cuomo has accepted that “facts have changed”, he is still uneasy about the process needed to legalize recreational marijuana.

In his now infamous debates with Cynthia Nixon, Cuomo stated that the implementation of the laws will be hard to figure out.

Cuomo explained, “The situation on marijuana is changing. Now you have to answer specifics. Who sells it? Where do they sell it? What quantity can you sell? That to me, the devil’s in the details. And to come up with a full program, that’s what we have to answer.”

However, it looks like the plan for Governor Cuomo is to get the joint rolling because he has a recreational marijuana plan in the works.

Governor Cuomo Will Release Recreational Plan Soon

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It seems that things could seriously be changing in New York in the new year according to The New York Post. Cuomo’s spokesman Tyrone Stevens made an official statement on the inner workings on creating a well throughout and safe recreational marijuana law.

Stevens said,

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. 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.

While I think research is important, we already know how legalization in a state helps because of places such as California and Colorado. But, at least he is being thorough. Assemblyman Richard Gottfried of Manhattan (D) feels that the legalization process of marijuana should be handled like tobacco has been, with some changes.

Gottfried said, “The law ought to allow smoking of cannabis, with rules similar to limits on where you can smoke tobacco — but not necessarily the same. 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.”

I personally agree with Gottfried that marijuana legalization should not be feared but taken on and handled like tobacco legalization was implemented. But other politicians are not as keen to see legalization as Gottfried. Conservative Party chairman Mike Long has very old school views on marijuana and pokes fun at Cuomo flipping sides.

Long said, “I guess it’s not a gateway drug anymore. Legalization is going to ruin a lot of lives. People will become addicted and become involved in other drugs. Others will become impaired and end up in car accidents. It’s not a good path for the state of New York.”

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Long also feels that no matter how it is implemented, weed will be sold to minors and cause issues just like alcohol. Those thoughts are what is causing the prohibition against marijuana to continue even in a world where acceptance is at an all-time high. The Hill posted their article about the situation on Twitter and needless to say, people had some thoughts about Cuomo changing his tune when it comes to weed.

One person mentioned that Cuomo felt that his opposition to cannabis would help him gain power and followers. They said, “He used to think opposing legalization would help him become President. Now he thinks the opposite, so he's doing a 180. Cuomo told reporters last year he opposed legalization. 'It’s a gateway drug, & marijuana leads to other drugs & there’s a lot of proof that that’s true'."

Another person feels that the new recreational marijuana plan is a farce and Cuomo is only using this as a way to get popularity but that he will not follow through with it in the end.

They said, “Seems like posturing, don’t expect this to happen, but if it does I will applaud Cuomo for once.” It has always been a waiting game to see who is telling the truth when it comes to the hopes of recreational marijuana. We have been waiting to see if Governor Andrew Cuomo is telling the truth, but come 2019, Cuomo will have to put his money where his mouth is and legalize marijuana in New York.

Citations

1.Josefa Velasquez Gov. Cuomo Proposes Study of Recreational Marijuana Legalization. Retrieved December 11, 2018 from https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/sites/newyorklawjournal/2018/01/16/gov-cuomo-proposes-study-of-recreational-marijuana-legalization/?slreturn=20181111182644

2.Carl Campanile Cuomo to release plan for legalizing recreational use of marijuana. Retrieved December 11, 2018 from https://nypost.com/2018/12/11/cuomo-to-release-plan-for-legalizing-recreational-use-of-marijuana/

3.Alex Parker Light One Up: NY Governor Andrew Cuomo May Support Legalization of Marijuana. Retrieved December 11, 2018 from https://www.redstate.com/alexparker/2018/07/17/andrew-cuomo-marijuana-legalization-new-york/

4. Lichten & Bright. Retrieved December 11, 2018 from https://twitter.com/Lichten_Bright/status/1072592375460052992

5. Alec Holbeck. Retrieved December 11, 2018 from https://twitter.com/Alec_Holbeck/status/1072590242752987140

About the author: Kaitlyn M.

Kaitlyn is one of our regular contributors to cover Products and Lifestyle. She's living in the palmy Florida.