Andrew Cuomo wants to legalize recreational marijuana in New York

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he favors legalizing recreational marijuana in New York.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he favors legalizing recreational marijuana in New York.

Credit: Drew Angerer

Credit: Drew Angerer

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo believes the time has come to legalize recreational marijuana in his state.

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Cuomo, speaking before the New York City Bar Association on Monday, said he would push to legalize cannabis, a move that could generate more than $1.7 billion in sales during 2019, The New York Times reported.

"Let’s legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all,” Cuomo said.

Medical marijuana was legalized in New York in 2014, WNYW reported.

Cuomo, who once termed marijuana a gateway drug, changed his mind after commissioning the State Department of Health to conduct a study, the television station reported. The department's results showed that the benefits of legalizing recreational use of the drug outweighed its drawbacks, WNYW reported.

Ten other states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana, the Times reported.

With a Democratic majority in the state house, Cuomo’s idea is expected to win support, the newspaper reported.