NEW YORK — Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Thursday that he will embark on a cross-country体彩app官方网站 tour of legal marijuana states as part of his effort to legalize the drug in New York.
At a press event in New York City, Cuomo said he plans to visit Massachusetts, Illinois and either California or Colorado — three states that have "different versions" of legalized recreational marijuana programs. He said the goal is to find out what's worked for them, what hasn't, and what they've learned in the process.
"Everybody has goals," he said. "We want a goal of social equity, we want to make sure young people can't get it, et cetera. We want to make sure there are advantages to communities that have been oppressed. But then you look at the aftermath and many of those goals haven't been met, right?"
He said he and "his team" will meet with the other states to explore how the social equity and law enforcement pieces of their programs have panned out. Social equity programs aim to increase access to the industry for poor and minority groups who have been harmed by America's war on drugs.
It's likely the governor's team would include the state's new director of Cannabis Programs, Norman Birenbaum, who was appointed to the brand new position in December.
Cuomo spokesman Jason Conwall said additional details on the trip, including who's going and when, will be released soon.
New York is currently pursuing "regional coordination" with other Northeast states when it comes to marijuana legalization. Cuomo said New York wants to work with Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — states that have either already legalized the drug or are trying to — to coordinate tax rates, minimum age purchases, sale limits, and other program aspects in order to minimize competition.
"You know, our political debate now is all about 'I have a plan,'" he said. "Yeah, everybody has a plan. But can you actually get it done and does it turn out the way you planned it, right? That's the big question, and that's where government usually gets into trouble. So, I want to make sure we learn from them."
The governor has said marijuana legalization will be a major priority of his this budget season. It will be easier to pass as part of the state budget, which is due April 1, than as standalone legislation, he said.
An effort last year to legalize in New York failed.
Eleven states and Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational pot so far, and public support on the issue continues to grow. Two-thirds of Americans support legalization, according to a November 2019 Pew Research Center survey.