Governor Andrew Cuomo has created a "workgroup" to come up with legislation to regulate adult-use marijuana in New York State.
Cuomo plans to introduce this to the legislature in the upcoming session. This move comes after he commissioned a multi-agency study in January. The study concluded that "positive impacts of regulated marijuana in New York State outweigh the potential negative impacts, and that areas that may be a cause for concern can be mitigated with regulation and proper use of public education that is tailored to address key populations."
"The next steps must be taken thoughtfully and deliberately. As we work to implement the report's recommendations through legislation, we must thoroughly consider all aspects of a regulated marijuana program, including its impact on public health, criminal justice and State revenue, and mitigate any potential risks associated with it. I thank the members of the workgroup for their time and expertise as we work to craft a model program," says Governor Cuomo in a statement.
The workgroup will be overseen by Counsel to the Governor Alphonso David and includes the following members from Buffalo:
- R. Lorraine Collins, PhD, Associate Dean for Research, University at Buffalo
- Empire State Development Corporation Commissioner Howard Zemsky
Other members include:
- David Holtgrave, PhD, Dean, School of Public Health, University at Albany
- Jeff Reynolds, PhD, CEO, Family and Children's Association of Long Island
- Brendan Cox, former Albany Police Chief
- Angela H. Hawken, PhD, Professor of Public Policy, NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management
- Natasha Schüll, PhD, Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication, NYU Steinhardt
- Tracie Gardner, Associate Director at the Legal Action Center
- Dr. Chinazo Cunningham, MS, Professor, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
- Counsel to the Governor Alphonso David
- Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker
- Budget Director Robert Mujica
- Chief Diversity Officer for New York State Lourdes Zapata
- Office of Mental Health Commissioner Dr. Ann Sullivan
- Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez
- Office of Children and Family Services Acting Commissioner Sheila Poole
- Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul Karas
- New York State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II
- Acting Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Nonie Manion
- New York State Agriculture & Markets Commissioner Richard A. Ball
The January 2018 study by the Department of Health states the positive effects of regulated marijuana outweigh the potential negative aspects.
According to a statement from the Governor's office, this push for regulating adult-use marijuana "will build on Governor Cuomo's commitment to reducing the number of nonviolent individuals who become needlessly entangled in the criminal justice system and record of expanding access to medical marijuana."