New York Governor Could Include Marijuana Legalization in 2019 Budget Proposal

Several prominent New York politicians have proposed legalizing recreational marijuana in the near future, and it seems the state's governor may be planning to include the issue in his budget for next year.

Several media reports suggest that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will include a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in his budget for 2019. However a spokesperson for the governor pushed back on the news saying that the governor has appointed a 16-person working group to draft a marijuana legalization bill, and that he will introduce it to the legislature when it's finished.

The saga over New York legalizing recreational marijuana began at the beginning of the year when Cuomo commissioned a study to analyze the costs and benefits of the issue. Over the summer, the study came back and said that the benefits far outweighed the costs. As a result of the study, Cuomo, who has historically opposed marijuana legalization, changed his stance and began exploring legalizing marijuana.

Democrats took control of the entire state legislature during the November midterm elections, meaning Cuomo and his party should be able to pass a marijuana legalization bill without needing support from Republicans.

Obviously the prospect of the fourth largest state (in terms of population) in America, and the one that includes the most populous city in the United States, legalizing recreational marijuana would be a huge boost for the cannabis industry.

And right now it looks like it's simply a matter of when, not if, New York will legalize recreational marijuana.

(h/t NBC News)

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It costs an average of $4,000 for police to bring someone up on cannabis changes - but it could run the defendant as much as $20,000 to fight the case. It's no secret that a lot of taxpayer money is wasted each year on enforcing unjust marijuana laws. By some estimates, as much as $3.6 billion is spent every year arresting some 820,000 Americans on cannabis-related charges.

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