As the tide of legalization and decriminalization rises in many areas of the United States, a new development may see cannabis fully legal in New York, if the state Democrats have their way. The state Democratic Party intends to pass a resolution at its convention next week, endorsing the legalization of cannabis statewide.
The Democrats set the date of discussion for their planned May 23-24 meeting. The party wants to make a big splash with the pro-weed announcement.
“WANT TO HIGHLIGHT THIS,” the document circulated by the party proclaimed.
The move by party officials comes just weeks after actress Cynthia Nixon, the primary challenger to Gov. Cuomo, endorsed legalizing cannabis in the state. Nixon said marijuana arrests disproportionately impact minorities and sparked controversy by saying in an interview that “people of color” should get the first stab at licenses for selling cannabis as a “form of reparations.”
Until last year, Cuomo opposed legalization, calling marijuana a “gateway drug”, as if that’s a thing anyone believes anymore. (Statistics prove the opposite.)
Cuomo softened his stand and called for the study of legalization in January after Massachusetts voters approved recreational pot and incoming New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy campaigned on making pot legal in his state.
The report is expected to be released soon.
“Cuomo is OK with it if it’s the party agenda for approval,” a Democratic Party insider said.
Cuomo is the de facto head of the Democratic Party.
But the planning document also said party leaders intend to “table” other controversial measures, which won’t please the Bernie Sanders-Cynthia Nixon wing of the party. One proposal expected to be shelved would have allowed “unaffiliated” independent voters to vote in Democratic primaries.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, a number of independent Sanders supporters who hadn’t enrolled as Democrats realized they couldn’t vote for him in New York’s Democratic primary.