Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday called on New York state to fully legalize recreational marijuana, which would open the door for legal sales, government regulation and taxes on the drug.
The governor said this step would help to end what he called "two criminal justice systems; one for the wealthy and well-off, and one for everyone else."
"And that's going to end," Cuomo said in his address in Manhattan outlining his 2019 legislative priorities. "We must end the needless and unjust convictions and the debilitating criminal stigma and let's legalize the adult use of recreational use of marijuana once and for all."
The governor's announcement Monday marked another milestone in his evolution regarding marijuana. As recently as 2017, Cuomo called marijuana a “gateway drug” that could lead to more significant substance abuse.