With the results of this year’s presidential election still up in the air yesterday, one major decision in the tri-state area was clear by the end of the night: New Jersey voters officially cast their ballots and legalized recreational used of marijuana.
The decision by our neighbors to the south had many New York residents asking how long it would take legislators in the Empire State to reach a similar decision. Turns out, it may be sooner than you think.
Many prognosticators are predicting recreational weed could be made legal in New York by early next year.
After promising to legalize marijuana by the end of this year in his 2020 State of the State Address, Governor Cuomo backtracked on his pledge as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic struck the state, saying there wasn’t enough time to devote to the issue.
On October 15, however, Governor Cuomo changed his stance on the issue once again in an interview with Bravo host Andy Cohen. At the time, he said that New York may now be legalizing marijuana soon because of its dire financial predicament. (New Jersey is predicted to soon bring in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue from legal sales of the drug.)
State Senator Liz Krueger has authored a bill currently pending in Albany that would legalize recreational use of the drug in the state. Much of the debate in the state legislature now centers on how revenue from the sales of marijuana would be distributed and the ideal ways to regulate the emerging market.
A top cannabis advisor to Governor Cuomo stated in an interview last month that the current plan is to introduce legislation into the state budget in January with a goal of enacting the reform in April.
Until then, however, it’s worth remembering that it’s still technically illegal to transport marijuana between states.
Most popular on Time Out
- A massive mural featuring 20,000 of Trump’s lies has been installed in Soho
- Spend all election day with Broadway stars in this 10-hour marathon
- Here’s how to track your mail-in ballot this year in NYC
- NYC's most iconic stores are boarding up ahead of election day
- The 101 best sex scenes of all time
Want to know what’s cool in the city before your friends do? Sign up to our newsletter for the latest and greatest from NYC and beyond.