New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is pushing for cannabis legalization as the end of the state’s session nears and lawmakers appear close to striking a deal, New York State of Politics reports.
On Sunday, legislative leaders introduced a legalization measure that does not include a regulated market – similar to what Vermont lawmakers passed last year – but Cuomo prefers the state “do it all together.”
“I don’t think we should do one component now and then come back and do another component. Let’s just do it. We’ve talked about it, let’s make the hard decisions and let’s make them now.” – Cuomo, in a WAMC interview, via NY State of Politics
The major issue, Cuomo said, is for local governments to be able to opt in, or out, of allowing cannabis industry operations.
“What level – is it just county or is it local government?” Cuomo said during the interview. “If a county opts in, must all local governments be included? Second option, it’s the locality that opts in, not the county. … I think there’s a balance we have to achieve here, but I don’t think we can roughshod over local governments, nor should we.”
According to the report, lawmakers appeared close to striking a deal on Friday, but they could not come to an agreement on the details of local control or how the revenues derived from the industry would be spent.
The legalization plan included in Cuomo’s budget – which was ultimately pulled after legislative leaders pushed back – would have sent the monies to a ‘Marihuana Revenue Fund’ after enforcement costs and earmarks for drug treatment programs.
New York’s legislative session ends tomorrow.