New York might not be getting legal recreational marijuana after all. Though it was looking very likely only weeks ago, the state government has dropped legal weed from its state budget bill.
The state can still theoretically legalize cannabis any old time in a separate bill, but experts agree that it would have been a lot easier just to tuck it into a spending bill.
Among those experts is the state’s governor Andrew Cuomo, who laid down his thoughts this week on WNYC’s The Brain Lehrer Show, via Leafly. [Sidenote: WNYC is probably one of the best radio stations to listen to stoned (or, also, not stoned) in the country, offering up all kinds of groovy, funked-out, trippy music of virtually every genre].
But anyway, Cuomo told Lehrer: “When it’s not done in the budget, then it is, in my opinion, harder to do as a standalone bill because it’s now just marijuana with a capital ‘M,’.”
However difficult legalization might be, the gov’na says he can still make it happen. “I believe we’ll get it done this year,” he told Lehrer.
In what sounds like some decent PR spinning, Cuomo also took credit both for starting the ball rolling on legalization and also for slowing down that ball so that the state could get it just right.
“It really started with my proposal this year, but [legislators] have signaled that they need more time to talk about it,” he said, and added, “I said from Day One that the marijuana issue was going to be controversial.”
Photo via Flickr user Adriel O. Socrates