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Is Governor Cuomo serious about legalizing recreational marijuana?

January 23, 2018 11:26 PM

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo sparked a debate by calling for a study into legalizing recreational marijuana, but does that mean he's ready to see it happen in the state?

Cuomo sparked a debate last by calling for a study into legalizing recreational marijuana.

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Cuomo has long been opposed to legalizing recreational marijuana, so his proposal to study the issue raised some eye-brows.

"I think we should fund DOH to do a study," Cuomo said just 55 seconds of the governor's 45 minute budget address last week.

"This is an important topic," Cuomo said. "It's a hotly debated topic, pardon the pun, and it would be nice to have some facts in the middle of the debate."
    
Cuomo's call brought the polarizing debate to the forefront.  

"We believe a safe society is a sober society," said Gates Police Chief James VanBrederode.

"I think New York State is missing out on a huge opportunity for revenue, and for getting on the ball with where the rest of the country is going," said Kim Robinson of Rochester.

News10NBC asked Cuomo, who has long opposed legalizing recreational marijuana, if he's softening his stance.

"I said let's get the facts," Cuomo said. "Arguments are nice and we've had a great argument on this, but arguments with facts tend to be a little bit more productive."

"Look, I’m a former assistant district attorney," Cuomo said. "I'm a former attorney general. My views haven't changed."

News10NBC wanted to know if we could still see recreational marijuana legalized in New York State, despite Cuomo's opinion.

"If the facts are that surrounding states have all legalized it and everyone is just driving to New Jersey or Massachusetts and coming right back, and it's here anyway, then what are you accomplishing," Cuomo said.

Currently, nine states have legalized the use of recreational marijuana, including neighboring Massachusetts and Vermont, who legalized it just yesterday.

The new governor of New Jersey said he wants to legalize it in his state.

Governor Cuomo wants to wait for the study here.

"Let's get the facts first," Cuomo said. "Everyone has an opinion, but nobody has the facts, and the facts are evolving."

Advocates for legalizing recreational marijuana in New York said this is a great first step.

However, there's currently no time-table for when the Department of Health will complete the study.

WHECTV

Copyright 2018 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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