New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo sits at a table of speakers at a community event.

Metropolitan Transport Authority of NYC

New York Gov: Legal Cannabis is ‘Going to be Here Anyway’

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems to have softened his anti-legalization position, remarking during a stop in Brooklyn that “the situation has changed dramatically” on legal cannabis, asking “do you not legalize it when it is legal 10 miles from both sides of your border?”

“You have states that have legalized it now…. It is no longer a question of legal or illegal. It’s legal in Massachusetts. It may be legal in New Jersey. Which means for all intents and purposes it’s going to be here anyway.” – Cuomo via the New York Post

Cuomo’s comments come on the heels of his Democratic challenger Cynthia Nixon outlining her legalization position in a Facebook video. Nixon, the former “Sex and the City” actor, took a social justice approach to the issue, calling the war on drugs “racist” while supporting a tax-and-regulate cannabis market in the state.

“In 2018, in a blue state like New York marijuana shouldn’t even be an issue. If there was more political courage coming out of Albany we would have done this already. The simple truth is: for white people the use of marijuana has effectively been legal for a long time. Isn’t it time we legalize it for everyone else?” – Nixon in the video

During a stop in Long Island, Cuomo responded to Nixon by pointing to his support for a recreational cannabis feasibility study.

“Let’s get the facts and make a decision based on the facts. We now have states that have legalized marijuana, let’s look at the facts and see what happened there.” – Cuomo via the Post

Nixon isn’t the only candidate supporting legalization. Republican candidate Joel Giambra, the former Erie County executive, has said he supports legalization and would advocate for using the revenues for infrastructure funding. Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins has long supported broad cannabis legalization.

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