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New York State May Legalize Marijuana Soon
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Summary: New York state may legalize marijuana after a new study suggests it. 

A study commissioned by New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has recommended that recreational marijuana be legalized. According to the New York Times, the state is now one step closer to changing its marijuana legislation.

  
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Cuomo originally was against marijuana usage, but on Monday, he said that he had a turnaround due to the new information he has received. In the past, Cuomo said that marijuana was a gateway drug to harder substances.

Commissioner Howard Zucker said that the study revealed that the pros of marijuana outweighed the cons.

“We looked at the pros, we looked at the cons, and when we were done, we realized that the pros outweighed the cons,” Dr. Zucker said, “We have new facts.”

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The New York Times said that New York may be the next state to legalize marijuana, joining others such as California, Colorado, and Washington. These states have seen significant boosts to their economy because of the law change, and there have also been major reforms to their judicial systems once marijuana-related offenses were no longer crimes.

In New York, so far, medical marijuana is allowed but the state’s program has been criticized for being too restrictive. For instance, patients cannot smoke marijuana. They may only use it in the form of oils or edibles.



The report commissioned by Cuomo was conducted by health, public safety, and economic experts, who all agreed that recreation usage would not be a problem for New Yorkers. The experts considered all criticisms of marijuana, including impaired driving and useage from minors.

Dr. Zucker said that the report will be published soon but did not provide a specific date.

Cuomo, a Democrat, is facing competition for his seat from Cynthia Nixon, the well-regarded actress who played Miranda in Sex and the City. One of Nixon’s major platforms was to legalize marijuana, something that Cuomo previously shunned.

Lauren Hitt, a spokesperson for Nixon’s campaign, said that it shouldn’t have taken Governor Cuomo eight years to get on board with legalized recreational marijuana, something the rest of the country has already been leaning towards.

In addition to marijuana usage, legalizing marijuana would stop people from being arrested for minor drug offenses. If the state were to legalize, then they would also have to figure out what to do with people who were previously arrested or convicted for marijuana-related offenses.

“In New York City, black people were arrested on low-level marijuana charges at eight times the rate of white people over the last three years. The Police Department has blamed the disparity on complaints from residents about marijuana, but a New York Times analysis found that among neighborhoods where people called to complain about marijuana at the same rate, the police almost always made arrests at a higher rate in the area with more black residents,” the New York Times said.

Cuomo is also facing a challenge to his seat from Republican Marcus Molinaro, who has said Cuomo is leaning more left to beat Nixon.

“There are serious questions to be answered about marijuana,” Katy Delgado, Molinaro’s spokeswoman told the New York Times. “They should be answered by serious people without a political agenda.”

What do you think of legalized marijuana? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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