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Politics and Government

Cuomo wary of wider marijuana legalization

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who plans to introduce a limited program for medical marijuana in his State of the State speech Wednesday, says he does not see it leading to the legalization of the drug at this time. But some in the legislature disagree.

Cuomo is using his authority through the New York State Health Department to allow up to 20 hospitals to prescribe medical marijuana to some patients. Cuomo says he favors a limited experiment for now to work out any potential problems.

“If it goes bad, we can correct or improve it, all within our own control,” Cuomo said.  

Cuomo says proposals to make the drug completely legal, though, are a non-starter for him.

New York State Sen. Liz Krueger, a sponsor of a bill to legalize marijuana, thinks that despite Cuomo’s opposition right now,  pot will become legal in New York sooner than later.

“We are actually at a tipping point in this country,” said Krueger, who calls the 75-year prohibition on the drug a failure.

Krueger says Cuomo’s executive order could make it more likely that the legislature takes action this year to allow for wider use of medical marijuana.  

The governor says, though he doesn’t see a “hunger” in the legislature to pass a medical marijuana law.