New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Calls for Legalizing Marijuana Among His Priorities

December 17, 2018, 7:06 PM UTC

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to legalize marijuana.

In a speech on Monday outlining his priorities for the first 100 days of his third term in office, Cuomo highlighted the “needless and unjust criminal convictions” associated with the criminalization of marijuana as a motivation for making adult recreational consumption legal.

He also said he would focus on increasing funding for public transportation, reforming the state’s voting laws, cutting taxes for working families, and strengthening New York’s gun laws.

This progressive agenda comes on the heels of a landmark victory for New York Democrats in November’s election. The party took back the State Senate for the first time in a decade.

As recently as 2017, Cuomo called marijuana a “gateway drug,” but more recently said the “facts have changed” as other states have begun to legalize it. Ten states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana, including New York neighbors Vermont and Massachusetts.

It is unusual for a third-term governor to lay out a 100-days agenda. Cuomo’s speech has sparked speculation that he may be gearing up to run for President in 2020, although he has said publicly that he does not intend to run.