Cuomo says New York state is ahead of others on recreational marijuana, but it isn't – PolitiFact

“I think we’re actually ahead” on legalizing marijuana for recreational use in New York state.

Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday, April 11th, 2018 in a conversation with reporters

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo claimed that New York state is ahead of other states on legalizing recreational marijuana. (Courtesy: Cuomo’s Flickr account)

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo touts New York state as a progressive beacon for the rest of the country.

But his primary opponent, Cynthia Nixon, says that’s not true when it comes to recreational marijuana. It’s not legal in New York state.

Cuomo was asked about the issue during a recent exchange with reporters on Long Island.

“Given what’s happened in Massachusetts, California, what could happen in New Jersey, do you feel as if New York is behind on this at all?” NY1 Reporter Zack Fink asked Cuomo.

“No, I think we’re actually ahead on it,” Cuomo said. “We announced months ago that we were going to study the legalization issue precisely for that reason. You have Massachusetts, you have New Jersey talking about it.”

Earlier this year, Cuomo asked the state Department of Health to study what legalizing marijuana would mean for New York state. The study will reportedly be finished this fall.

Some states have already legalized marijuana for recreational use. So, what was Cuomo talking about when he said “we’re actually ahead on it?”

What Cuomo was saying

Cuomo did not mean to say New York state was ahead of other states that already legalized recreational marijuana, a spokesperson said. He meant that the Department of Health study would put New York state ahead of others in responding to the federal government’s new position on state marijuana laws.

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