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Governor Cuomo Vows to Legalize Marijuana by June 2019

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Marijuana legalization wasn’t included in New York’s $175-billion state budget, but Governor Cuomo vows that it’ll get passed by June. The state’s legislative session ends in June. Some worry that standalone legislation won’t fly.

Only Vermont has passed legalization via legislative process so some New York lawmakers are concerned, the New York Post reports. Voters have passed 9 of the 10 marijuana legalization efforts across the U.S. Polls continue to show that New York voters support legalization.

Governor Cuomo said, “We will get marijuana done, it’s not a question of political desire, it’s a question of practical reality of how you put the new system in place.”

Senator Diane Savino said, “This is going to be more difficult to pass as a stand-alone bill outside the budget. Look what happened in New Jersey last week.”

Savino also said, “This is unfortunate. It’s a case of lawmakers making the perfect the enemy of the good. The voters are way ahead of the legislators on marijuana legalization.”

Cuomo has said that making legalization happen won’t be easy. There is heavy opposition to legalization. Some suburban county leaders have already indicated that they’d “opt-out” of allowing recreational marijuana sales. Other counties would reap the benefits of the residents of these counties spending their money elsewhere.

Cuomo said, “You still need to control and regulate. You don’t want 14-year-olds having access to marijuana, so how you do it is frankly the tougher part of the equation. In the rush of the budget, we couldn’t do it intelligently. We have the whole rest of the session [to get it done].”