By Roland Sebestyén
In the eyes of New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, the US state is ready to join the 15 other jurisdictions that have already legalised the adult use of recreational cannabis. While the politician has often tried to progress the discussion about the drug’s accessibility, his previous efforts have fallen flat. However, under President-elect Joe Biden’s watch, this time he might succeed.
Following almost a hundred years of prohibition, New York could be in line to legalise cannabis after Andrew Cuomo (D) has announced that he would do everything to make sure the state frees up the billion-dollar industry in the near future.
Cuomo said: “We will legalise adult-use recreational cannabis, joining 15 states that have already done so.
“This will raise revenue and end the failed prohibition of this product that has left so many communities of colour over-policed and over-incarcerated.”
The announcement came a week after the mayor pledged to establish an office that would be responsible for supervising and regulating the cannabis market in the state. It is estimated that the open and legal cannabis industry would be worth $300 million in tax revenue for New York.
The governor said: “I’ve supported [legalisation] for years. I’ve tried to pass it, but this is a year where we do need the funding, and a lot of New Yorkers are struggling. So, I think this year will give us the momentum to get it over the goal line,
“Not only will legalising and regulating the adult-use cannabis market provides the opportunity to generate much-needed revenue, but it also allows us to directly support the individuals and communities that have been most harmed by decades of cannabis prohibition.”
After years of campaigning, New York decriminalised small amounts of cannabis possession in 2019. Additionally, the state provides some sort of help for people convicted in relation to cannabis case.
While recreational use has been illegal since 1927, medical cannabis is available for more than 130,000 patients across the state. However, some claim it’s far from enough, and New York needs to expand the medical aspect of the drug before it could break in the adult-use market.