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NY Gov. Cuomo To Tour Legal Cannabis States

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he plans to soon visit states where marijuana is legal to get some tips on what did and did not work for them, as New York prepares to make adult recreational marijuana use legal.

New York  Governor Andrew Cuomo says he’ll go to California, Colorado, Illinois and Massachusetts in the coming weeks to meet with officials and find out how they are carrying out the monitoring and sale of the drug. The governor will also ask about the taxing of cannabis and whether they have any revenue streams devoted to lower income communities adversely affected by marijuana prohibition. Cuomo has included a bill in his budget plan, and says it is a “major priority.”

“So that we have the best bill and best system when we pass it,” said Cuomo. “And I want to pass it by April 1.”

Legislative sponsors of legalizing cannabis differ with the governor on one key issue: They want a dedicated fund to help those who disproportionately suffered under the criminalization of cannabis. Cuomo wants a portion of the marijuana taxes to go to the programs, but he does not want it spelled out in the statute. 

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of public radio stations in New York state. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.
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