NY health department to call for marijuana legalization
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- 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.
The report is now being finalized. Zucker's boss, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, has long expressed concerns about legalization but ordered the study in January after coming under pressure from legalization supporters.
Don't count on legal weed just yet, however. Lawmakers must approve any legalization proposal but plan to adjourn for the year this week.
Two neighboring states, Massachusetts and Vermont, are among those moving toward legalization.
New York has a medical marijuana program allowing patients with qualifying conditions to use non-smokeable forms of pot.