A new study commissioned by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recommends that the state legalize and regulate adult-use cannabis, state Health Commissioner Howard Zucker announced on Monday. The report considers several important factors, including impaired driving, minimum age of use, and the regulations concerning statewide production and distribution. “We have new facts, we have new data, and as a result of that, we made a decision to move forward,” Zucker said to Marijuana Moment. “So that is the decision at this point: to have a regulated legal marijuana program for adults.”
Although the report increases the likelihood that New York will join the other nine states that have legalized recreational cannabis, it is extremely unlikely that it will happen this year.
Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, one of the sponsors of a recreational legalization bill that has been proposed in both chambers of the state legislature, feels that it is also unlikely that the Assembly has time to pass the bill this year. “But if it does, I can tell you that I’ll be ready.”
When the bill does eventually come up for debate, Peoples-Stokes believes that the Democratic-majority Assembly will have no qualms about passing it. The traditionally conservative state Senate may be another story altogether, though.