New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has appointed a workgroup to write legislation to legalize marijuana.
This comes after a report that said the positive impact of regulated marijuana in the state outweighed the potential negative aspects. Cuomo had appointed a commission in January to study the issue.
"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,” Governor Cuomo said.
The report found that regulated marijuana would better enable the state to control licensing, ensure quality control and set age and quantity protections. It also argued that it would reduce the racial disparities in criminalization and incarceration rates.
The workgroup has 20 members and will be led by Alphonso David, who is a counsel to Governor Cuomo.
The governor had been opposed to the legalization of marijuana as recently as last year. Many believe Cuomo changed his stance to compete with Cynthia Nixon, who is challenging him in the Democratic primary.
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