ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling for the legalization and regulation of marijuana for recreational use by adults, his third attempt in as many years to get the drug fully legalized in the state.
Cuomo, a Democrat, announced his proposal Wednesday as part of his upcoming State of the State agenda for the year.
Cuomo pointed to growing acceptance of legalization in the Northeast, including in Massachusetts, Maine and most recently, New Jersey.
The proposal calls for the creation of a new Office of Cannabis Management that would oversee recreational use as well as existing medical use.
It also would offer licensing opportunities for those in communities that have been disproportionately impacted by law enforcement efforts against marijuana to become entrepreneurs in the new recreational market.
Cuomo’s latest legalization proposal follows two unsuccessful attempts in 2019 and 2020 to fully legalize marijuana, which both fell short despite Democrats’ 2018 win of both chambers of the Legislature.
In 2019, New York softened some criminal penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana and launched a process to automatically expunge the records of thousands of individuals convicted of low-level possession crimes.