NY Health Commissioner to Recommend Recreational Pot

NY’s top health official wants to legalize marijuana

NY’s top health official wants to legalize marijuana

New York's top health official says a long-awaited state report on marijuana will recommend state legalization.

Health Commissioner Howard Zucker said Monday in Brooklyn that officials examined the pros and cons of legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana and determined the benefits of legalization outweighed the negatives.

On Monday, the Cuomo's office says the governor "will review the report" when he receives it.

The announcement is the latest step by the state Health Department to expand the availability of medical marijuana in non-smokeable forms after it was legalized in 2016.

"When those facts change, we need to do a better analysis of that", Zucker said.

It's unclear on how the state will move forward with the recommendation.

According to The New York Times, legalization efforts by New Jersey and MA helped shift Cuomo's thinking.

Individuals on all sides of the marijuana debate said they wanted to hear more about what Cuomo's administration plans to propose.

John Coppola, the executive director of the New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers said legalization must incorporate efforts to prevent underage abuse and educate the public about the risks of addiction and misuse. Zucker's remarks, announced shortly before his appearance, came on the same day as the start of a federal corruption trial of a former Cuomo economic development insider and that former Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner announced she would challenge Cuomo as an independent in November. "The only thing this governor cares about is his political career". At the same time, the DOH will add prescription opioid usage to the list of illnesses that qualify patients for the medical marijuana, Zucker said.

Medical marijuana is already legal in NY.

The issue has also occupied the attention of lawmakers elsewhere in the Tri-State Area.

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