Jamaica, NY – Governor Andrew Cuomo called upon the State Health Department to conduct a study on the pros and cons of legalizing recreational marijuana in New York.
Though the Governor has called marijuana a “gateway drug” which could lead to the use of other drugs, tax revenue earned from legalized marijuana could be the gateway to fixing the city’s infrastructure problems, like the crumbling subway system.
According to a report obtained by Fox5 NY, New York City’s Mass Transit Authority President Andy Byford says the agency needs $40 billion over a ten year span to modernize the subway system. The $200-700 million tax revenue earned from legalization of recreational marijuana could offset the current need for a subway fare hike. Tax revenue depends upon excise tax and varying price per ounce.
An April 2018 Quinnipiac University poll found that sixty-three percent of New Yorkers support the idea of legalizing recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana was legalized in New York state when Governor Cuomo signed the Compassionate Care Act in September 2014, which allows doctors to prescribe marijuana in a non-smokable form to patients with serious ailments that are recognized by the state on a predefined but flexible list of conditions.
According to Senator Leroy Comrie (D-NY), who is in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana, the topic will be on the table for discussion in the next legislative session which begins in January 2019.