New York Report Concludes That Recreational Marijuana Should Be Legalized

New York Report Concludes That Recreational Marijuana Should Be Legalized

New York's Department of Health officially backed the legalization of marijuana July 13, delivering a report to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

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ALBANY — New York's Department of Health officially backed the legalization of marijuana Friday, delivering a report to Gov. Andrew Cuomo that found the "positive effects" outweigh the "potential negative effects."

In a 74-page report, the Health Department laid out dozens of reasons the state should legalize the drug for recreational use, estimating it could generate up to $678 million in annual tax revenue and cut down on the disproportionate arrests of black and Hispanic users.

The broad findings of the report were expected: Health Commissioner Howard Zucker had previously said it would support legalization.

"The positive effects of a regulated marijuana market in NYS outweigh the potential negative impacts," the report reads. "Areas that may be a cause for concern can be mitigated with regulation and proper use of public education that is tailored to address key populations."

The report now heads to Cuomo, a Democrat who is seeking re-election this fall.

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