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Supporters of legal marijuana want it included in budget

Brett Levin

Supporters of legalizing recreational marijuana plan to hold rallies each day at the State Capitol this week, urging Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers to include the measure in the state budget.  

Kassandra Frederique with the Drug Policy Alliance said supporters worry that if the issue lingers until later in the session, its chances of passage will diminish.

“Kicking the can down the road more is not a good sign for us as community members,” Frederique said. “The urgency on what legalization can do for our communities is important.”

Legislative leaders have said they’d like to tackle the issue after the budget. But Cuomo, speaking on WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show,” said the measure is still “on the table,” though he is not counting on revenue from any taxes on legal cannabis in the new state spending plan.

A vote to legalize marijuana in the New Jersey Legislature was canceled earlier this week when supporters could not muster enough support.

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.