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'I'm Not Ready to Give up Yet,' Gov. Cuomo Fights Cannabis Legalization Delays in New York

Despite hitting a few snags in the past week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) says he's confident that legalization will be in the state's 2020 budget.

Marijuana legalization in New York has hit a bit of a snag in recent days. NY lawmakers are having some difficulty coming to an agreement on just what legalization of recreational cannabis in the Empire State will look like. Gov. Cuomo previously included marijuana legalization in the state's 2020 budget, but some doubt that lawmakers will have enough time to finish the legalization bill in time to include it in the finalized budget, which is due at the end of March. However, Cuomo says he's confident that the final draft will include marijuana reform.

"We have six weeks. Six weeks is a long period of time," Cuomo told WCNY. "So, I'm not ready to give up yet."

But Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) believes the bill will need to be debated until the end of the legislative session in June.

"I don't know if six weeks is enough time to get it done," Heastie told NY State of Politics. "If it can happen, great. But if not, we'll deal with it. But more than getting things done quickly, it’s better to get things correctly."

Cuomo said he understands Heastie's desire to get things done the right way, but he also insists that there's plenty of time to come to an agreement if they step up their efforts.

"Six weeks—let's work every day to get it done. If we can't, we can't."

Assuming lawmakers can come to an agreement before that state budget is finalized marijuana legalization will be on track to come into effect on April 1, 2020.


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