New York Gov. Proposes State Legalize Recreational Marijuana
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday he will push to fully legalize recreational marijuana in the state as part of his agenda for the next year.
"The fact is we have had two criminal justice systems: one for the wealthy and the well off, and one for everyone else," Cuomo said in a speech about his agenda for the first 100 days of his third term, as quoted by The New York Times.
He said the injustice had "for too long targeted the African-American and minority communities."
"Let's legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all," Cuomo added.
The District of Columbia and 10 states—Alaska, Colorado, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Vermont—have legalized marijuana for recreational use.
As EcoWatch previously mentioned, there's a strong environmental case for a consistent national policy on marijuana:
Growing marijuana has a series of negative environmental impacts that are worsened by black market and semi-legal growing, which make regulations harder to enact and enforce. By making it fully legal, regulations could be enacted governing its cultivation to mitigate these impacts.
Legalizing weed could result in higher standards for its cultivation. For instance, in Boulder, Colorado—first state to decriminalize marijuana—commercial marijuana growers are required offset their electricity use with local renewable energy or pay a 2.16 cent charge per kWh.
In California, which legalized recreational marijuana sales earlier this year, the state was required to create strict environmental measures to regulate pot growers' use of pesticides, water and energy, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.
5 Reasons Legalizing Pot Is Good for the Planet http://t.co/FnC7RpZz9U @legalize @WeedFeed @CannabisNews @nature_org http://t.co/MLJOmJ204z— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1435335725.0
Legalizing marijuana in New York could bring in more than $1.7 billion in sales annually, the Times reported.
Monday's announcement is a stark change of tune for the Democratic governor, who said as recently as 2017 that marijuana was a "gateway drug."
Cuomo's opponent in this year's gubernatorial primary, actress and activist Cynthia Nixon, called for legalizing pot, arguing that current marijuana laws unfairly target minority users.
Cuomo later told the New York Daily News in April that "the facts have changed on marijuana," noting that as more states legalize marijuana, the Empire State would likely have to follow.
- Construction Begins on Keystone XL Pipeline in Montana - EcoWatch ›
- Trump Approves Keystone XL Pipeline, Groups Vow 'The Fight Is ... ›
- Keystone XL Pipeline Construction to Forge Ahead During ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Monir Ghaedi
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep most of Europe on pause, the EU aims for a breakthrough in its space program. The continent is seeking more than just a self-sufficient space industry competitive with China and the U.S.; the industry must also fit into the European Green Deal.
European satellites continue to provide data on climate change.
In 2018, a team of researchers went to West Africa's Nimba Mountains in search of one critically endangered species of bat. Along the way, they ended up discovering another.
- Eek! Bat Populations Are Shrinking. Here Are A Few Ways to Help ... ›
- First Bat Removed From U.S. Endangered Species List Helps ... ›
- What We've Lost: The Species Declared Extinct in 2020 - EcoWatch ›
By Jim Palardy
As 2021 dawns, people, ecosystems, and wildlife worldwide are facing a panoply of environmental issues. In an effort to help experts and policymakers determine where they might focus research, a panel of 25 scientists and practitioners — including me — from around the globe held discussions in the fall to identify emerging issues that deserve increased attention.
Ask a Scientist: What Should the Biden Administration and Congress Do to Address the Climate Crisis?
By Elliott Negin
What a difference an election makes. Thanks to the Biden-Harris victory in November, the next administration is poised to make a 180-degree turn to again address the climate crisis.
- Biden Reaffirms Commitment to Rejoining Paris Agreement ... ›
- Joe Biden Appoints Climate Crisis Team - EcoWatch ›
- Biden Plans to Fight Climate Change in a New Way - EcoWatch ›