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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