Holds office Governor
Governor Cuomo publicly voiced support in 2019 for the passage of legislation legalizing adult-use marijuana possession and regulating the plant’s commercial production and retail sale. He included legalization language in his 2019 state budget proposal, but these provisions were ultimately rejected by lawmakers. In his 2020 State of the State address, he reiterated his support for adult-use legalization and he is once again pushing to include legalization as part of his 2020 budget plan.
Governor Cuomo signed Assembly Bill 8420-A into law in 2019, which significantly reduced penalties for low-level marijuana possession offenses, expanded the state’s existing decriminalization law, and facilitated a process for the automatic review and expungement of criminal records involving offenses specific to the possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis. (Link)
“Let’s legalize adult-use cannabis, working with neighboring states to coordinate a safe and fair system. And let's create a Global Cannabis and Hemp Research Center with SUNY so New York can lead the way.” (Link) 2019
“I believe the budget is the opportunity, frankly, to make some tough decisions and work through tough issues that without the budget can often languish, and I suggest that we get it done in the budget.” (Link) 2019
Following the completion of a 2018 Health Department study concluding, “The positive effects of a regulated marijuana market in New York State outweigh the potential negative impacts," Gov. Cuomo shifted his position in favor of adult use legalization. In December he announced, “We must ... end the needless and unjust criminal convictions and the debilitating criminal stigma, and let's legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all." He acknowledged that enacting legislation to permit and regulate the retail sale of cannabis to adults is among the Cuomo administration's top 2019 legislative priorities. (12/17/18) (Link)
“The situation on marijuana is changing,” Mr. Cuomo said. He stopped short of saying he would back legalization in the state in response to the report, but then spoke of logistics as if he would.
“Now you have to answer specifics,” Mr. Cuomo told reporters. “Who sells it? Where do they sell it? What quantity can you sell? That to me, the devil’s in the details. And to come up with a full program, that’s what we have to answer.” (7/13/18) https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/13/nyregion/marijuana-new-york-cuomo-legalization.html
In an address to the state legislature regarding a proposed study committee, Gov. Cuomo said "New Jersey may legalize marijuana. Massachusetts already has. On the other hand, Attorney General Sessions says he's going to end marijuana in every state. So you have the whole confluence of different information. I think we should fund [the Department of Health] to do a study. Let them work with state police and other agencies. Look at the health impact and economic impact," he said during his address. (1/17/18) https://www.law.com/newyorklawjournal/sites/newyorklawjournal/2018/01/16/gov-cuomo-proposes-study-of-recreational-marijuana-legalization/?slreturn=20180122153209
"It's a gateway drug, and marijuana leads to other drugs and there's a lot of proof that that's true," the Democratic governor said before attending the grand opening of a new casino. "There's two sides to the argument. But I, as of this date, I am unconvinced on recreational marijuana." (9/16/14) https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2017/02/cuomo-says-he-remains-opposed-to-recreational-marijuana-109436
Governor of New York State New York State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224