New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has restated his stance to champion the legalization of adult-use marijuana after neighboring New Jersey approved the same in the recent elections. Cuomo said the push, slated for the next coming months, will enable the state to meet its multi-billion-dollar budget shortage.
The governor further pointed out that the state is in desperate need of funding after the coronavirus pandemic took its toll on the economy, affecting revenue allocation. He said the time is ripe and legalizing marijuana is a sure source of revenue.
His sentiments were echoed by his neighboring Connecticut counterpart, Ned Lamont, who explained that his support for legalizing marijuana would help contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking along the same lines as Cuomo, Lamont said his immediate New Jersey and Massachusetts neighbors have already legalized marijuana; hence, he would follow suit to curb the Covid 19 spread. He said residents of Connecticut wouldn’t need to travel to nearby states to acquire the drug.
Experts noted that the passage of recreational marijuana would be easier if it is included in the state’s 2021 budget bill. However, it is possible governor Cuomo will put pressure on lawmakers to approve the bill before next year.
One marijuana expert pointed out that New York will have to wait for a little while to ensure the package allocated to the pandemic relief kitty will affect the state budget. But Cuomo maintained that the state will still need Funding despite the incentive.
Pressure now mounts on New York and Pennsylvania after neighboring New Jersey legalized adult-use marijuana in recent elections. According to Mark Schweich, deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project, failure to legalize recreational cannabis by the two states would be like donating millions of dollars to New Jersey, losing out on Marijuana revenue.
New York lawmakers remain undecided on the issue owing to the potential setbacks the move would bring. Such setbacks include taxation and exclusion of women and small business owners in the industry.