Officials: Recreational Marijuana Likely to Become Legal in NY State
With the elections now over, the state begins to moves forward into 2019. Newly elected officials could finally help pass some long stalled bills when lawmakers reconvene in Albany in January.
One issue that many in the state feel passionately about is the legalization of marijuana. What was once considered a long shot here in New York may very well become a reality. One of the big factors are some new faces in the state Senate, such as James Skoufis and Jen Metzger.
Rosendale's Metzger in particular, has long argued in favor of legalization. She has said that legalized marijuana could be a huge economic boon to the state, while cutting back on costly arrests for those busted with pot.
Governor Andrew Cuomo also seems to be having a change of heart. Cuomo, who once labeled pot as a "gateway drug", recently backed the NY State Health Department's fifteen public hearings on the benefits of legalization. The state recently loosened restrictions on medical marijuana, which has created many new customers now eligible for coverage.
You also have to consider that other states in the northeast; such as Vermont, Massachuseets, and Maine have already legalized pot. New Jersey may very well be next, plus Canada's nationwide legalization went into effect in October.
In August, Manhattan's district attorney stopped prosecuting lower level marijuana offenses.