Governor Cuomo says New York is ahead of the curve when it comes to the legalization movement.
During his January Executive Budget Address, Governor Cuomo proposed that an undetermined amount of funds be used for a Department of Health study into the impact of legalizing marijuana in New York State.
Last month, NY.gov unveiled a page dedicated to this study, it can be found here,
The goal of this study is to see how law enforcement, the economy and the people of New York would be affected by the change in laws.
It would also measure the impact this new market would have on neighboring states including the amount of "leakage" expected.
Leakage is a term used to describe legal marijuana from one state being transported illegally across state lines to another.
Here are the steps that the Department of Health would take if they conducted this study.
In response to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' Jan. 4 rescission of the "Cole memo", Cuomo believes that it is better to get the opinion of the Department of Health at a time when federal protections for states regulating marijuana are so unclear.
This was a major reversal for a politician who once referred to marijuana as a "gateway drug".
Since taking office in 2011, Cuomo has maintained a hardline against pot and has governed a state that sees more marijuana arrests than any other state in the U.S. (link to my article, NYC: 420 unfriendly?)