Quantcast

New York Gov. Proposes State Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Popular

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.

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.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Trump leaves after delivering a speech at the Congress Centre during the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos on Jan. 21, 2020. JIM WATSON / AFP via Getty Images

U.S. President Donald Trump dismissed the concerns of environmental activists as "pessimism" in a speech to political and business leaders at the start of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Tuesday.

Read More

Warning: The video above may be upsetting to viewers.

An amusement park in China came under fire on social media this weekend for forcing a pig off a 230 foot-high bungee tower.

Read More
Sponsored
Participants at the tree-planting event in Ankazobe district, Madagascar, on Jan. 19. Valisoa Rasolofomboahangy / Mongabay

By Malavika Vyawahare, Valisoa Rasolofomboahangy

Madagascar has embarked on its most ambitious tree-planting drive yet, aiming to plant 60 million trees in the coming months. The island nation celebrates 60 years of independence this year, and the start of the planting campaign on Jan. 19 marked one year since the inauguration of President Andry Rajoelina, who has promised to restore Madagascar's lost forests.

Read More
A pedestrian wearing a mask walks in a residential area in Beijing on Jan. 21, 2020. The number of people in China infected by a new SARS-like virus jumped to 291, according to authorities. WANG ZHAO / AFP via Getty Images

A new coronavirus that began sickening people in China late in 2019 can be transmitted from human to human, the country's health ministry announced Monday.

Read More
New pine trees grow from the forest floor along the North Fork of the Flathead River on the western boundary of Glacier National Park on Sept. 16, 2019 near West Glacier, Montana. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

By Alex Kirby

New forests are an apparently promising way to tackle global heating: the trees absorb carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from human activities. But there's a snag, because permanently lower river flows can be an unintended consequence.

Read More