What to Know
- Recreational marijuana legalization is among the items remaining on New York lawmakers' to-do lists before they are scheduled to adjourn
- Cuomo says he's cautiously optimistic about weed legalization passing, but says it should include opt outs for localities that don't want it
- Any agreement reached Monday would require an extension of the session so that the bills are able to mature 3 days before a vote
Marijuana legalization is among the items remaining on New York lawmakers' to-do lists before they are scheduled to adjourn — just two days away.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he is cautiously optimistic about marijuana legalization passing, but adds that the legislation should include "opt outs" for localities that do not want it — something lawmakers were trying to hammer out Monday evening.
Any agreement reached on recreational marijuana Monday would require an extension of the session so that the bills are able to mature for three days before a vote.
The possible marijuana bill could be hammered out by the end of Monday if there is a consensus, giving Democrats a deadline to stay true to their progressive promises.
Lawmakers were scheduled to adjourn Wednesday, but measures passed Monday already pushed the session back to a new close date of Thursday.
While there's broad support for legalization among members of the Democrat-led state Legislature, lawmakers have so far failed to reach a consensus on the many details of taxing and regulating marijuana.
The recent failure of legalization legislation in neighboring New Jersey likely sapped some of the issue's momentum in New York, Cuomo has previously said. The governor had seemingly given up any expectations in recent months that marijuana would be legalized this year, saying the votes simply weren't there.
Cuomo also seemed hesitant in the past to get on board with legalization, saying weed is a gateway drug. But on Monday, it appeared Cuomo was in support of getting the right deal done.