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Will New York actually legalize marijuana in 2020?

Posted at 11:33 PM, Jan 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-09 04:30:35-05

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — Will 2020 be the year that marijuana becomes legal in New York State?

“This year, let's work with our neighbors New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania to coordinate a safe and fair system, and let's legalize adult use of marijuana,” said Gov. Cuomo during Wednesday’s State of the State address.

Gov. Cuomo said a similar statement last year saying he wanted to legalize adult-use cannabis, but that did not happen.

In the address, the governor also proposed the creation of a "Global Cannabis and Hemp Center for Science, Research, and Education with SUNY."

In 2019, marijuana was decriminalized.

"The biggest task at hand will be how do communities that have been most criminalized by marijuana prohibition benefit from marijuana regulation? And I think that is a question that the governor has yet to answer for," says Kassandra Frederique, managing director for the Drug Policy Alliance.

A few weeks ago, Gov. Cuomo hired a “cannabis czar” to head the state’s marijuana programs.

The spokesperson for Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes issued this statement to 7 Eyewitness News:

We’re pleased the Governor is once again making the legalization of adult use marijuana one of his top priorities. For more than 6 years Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes has been a lead advocate and bill sponsor for the legalization of adult use marijuana and the reinvestment of revenues in communities impacted by the War on Drugs. She remains optimistic that lawmakers will eventually pass this legislation for the good of all the people of the state.