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New York Governor Could Include Marijuana Legalization in 2019 Budget Proposal

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Several prominent New York politicians have proposed legalizing recreational marijuana in the near future, and it seems the state’s governor may be planning to include the issue in his budget for next year.

Several media reports suggest that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will include a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in his budget for 2019. However a spokesperson for the governor pushed back on the news saying that the governor has appointed a 16-person working group to draft a marijuana legalization bill, and that he will introduce it to the legislature when it’s finished.

The saga over New York legalizing recreational marijuana began at the beginning of the year when Cuomo commissioned a study to analyze the costs and benefits of the issue. Over the summer, the study came back and said that the benefits far outweighed the costs. As a result of the study, Cuomo, who has historically opposed marijuana legalization, changed his stance and began exploring legalizing marijuana.

Democrats took control of the entire state legislature during the November midterm elections, meaning Cuomo and his party should be able to pass a marijuana legalization bill without needing support from Republicans.

Obviously the prospect of the fourth largest state (in terms of population) in America, and the one that includes the most populous city in the United States, legalizing recreational marijuana would be a huge boost for the cannabis industry.

And right now it looks like it’s simply a matter of when, not if, New York will legalize recreational marijuana.

(h/​t NBC News)

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