The movement for marijuana legalization has never quite caught fire in New York. But then along came a political newcomer who provided a spark.
Cynthia Nixon’s pointed racial justice argument was echoed a week later by Public Advocate Letitia James, an ally of Governor Cuomo.
Senator Charles Schumer declared his support around the same time, even signing a bong. That’s not to mention a prominent Republican convert, former House Speaker John Boehner.
But marijuana legalization in New York likely hinges on one man. His position is also evolving.
Longtime opponent Governor Cuomo called for a study on legalization in January. Then after the Nixon video, he hinted he was now siding with supporters, saying entrenched opponents are not dealing with reality.
That reality is that since Washington and Colorado became the first states to approve recreational marijuana in 2012, nine states plus Washington D.C. have followed suit; 29 states have approved medical marijuana. Even more relevant to New York, Vermont has legalized personal use; dispensaries will open in Massachusetts and Canada this summer, and New Jersey is also moving on