Cuomo drops pot legalization from New York state budget

Cuomo drops pot legalization from New York state budget
© Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Wednesday that marijuana legalization will not be included in the state’s upcoming budget.

The Democratic governor said that state lawmakers need more time to reach an agreement on legalizing the drug in the state, according to CNN.

Cuomo, who pitched marijuana legalization late last year, told WNYC that he predicts that the state legislature will pass a legalization bill in the session after the budget.

ADVERTISEMENT

"For us, marijuana is a relatively new issue," he said. "It really started with my proposal this year but they have signaled that they need more time to talk about it. Therefore I didn't want to count the revenue for marijuana in this budget."

“My take is it will be done during the legislative session post budget and therefore I took the revenue out of the budget."

In December, the governor proposed making New York the 11th state, plus Washington D.C., to legalize recreational marijuana. The announcement was a departure from his past stance on the issue, in which he called marijuana a “gateway drug.”

Though Democrats control both chambers of the state’s legislative body, Cuomo warned this week that passing a standalone marijuana bill will be more difficult outside of the budget, according to CNN.

The delay comes as the 2020 presidential race heats up, in which a number of Democratic candidates have called for legalizing marijuana on the federal level.