New York came close to legalizing recreational marijuana in 2019, but Governor Cuomo has announced that it will happen in 2020. Facing a $6 million budget gap, legalizing recreational marijuana is one way to help bridge that gap. It’s estimated that legalizing marijuana could generate around $300 million in tax revenue for the state.
The governor wants to see research taking place, especially in regards to its effects, at state universities, The New York Times reported. One of the big reasons for research is to find out if marijuana is a better treatment option than opioids. Opioid addiction and abuse continues to be a serious issue in New York.
Governor Cuomo said, “For decades, communities of color were disproportionately affected by the unequal enforcement of marijuana laws. Let’s legalize adult use of marijuana,” and that the “federal government failed Americans with opioids. And we cannot allow that to happen with cannabinoids.”