Cuomo’s budget spurs conversation on legalizing recreational marijuana

Posted: Updated:
YONKERS -

Hudson Valley residents say they are torn over the idea of legalizing marijuana in New York.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget proposal Tuesday included funding that could lead to the state legalizing recreational marijuana. Recreational use of the drug is now allowed in eight states.

"If it was legalized in New Jersey and it’s legal in Massachusetts and the federal government allowed it to go ahead, what would that do to New York, which is right in the middle?" asked Cuomo.

Cuomo, who was opposed to the idea last year, announced funding to the budget proposal to study legalization.

"I think we should fund DOH to do a study, let them work with the state police and other agencies,” he said.

The study would look at marijuana's impact on health and the criminal justice system.

Residents say regardless of the study’s outcome, they hope lawmakers let the people make the final decision.

Lawmakers have until April 1 to pass a state budget. It’s too early to tell whether funding for the study will be included.

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