Press Release

Teleconference at 1pm Today: What’s Next for Marijuana Legalization in New York?

After Gov. Cuomo Leaves Legalization Out of Budget, Experts Respond and Chart Course to Pass Stand-Alone Bill In Coming Months

Melissa Moore 646-470-2827
Jag Davies 212-613-8035

With Governor Cuomo declining to include marijuana legalization in the state budget, which was finalized yesterday, it must now get enacted via stand-alone legislation in the coming months. In a radio interview yesterday, Cuomo doubled down on his previous commitments to pass a marijuana legalization law. While he had previously committed to including it in the state budget, he now insists it can be passed into law before the legislative session ends in June. 

Join us today, April 2 at 1pm (ET) for insight from:

  • Kassandra Frederique, DPA’s NY State Director, on how legalization must be rooted in racial and economic justice, crafting a diverse and equitable industry in New York. 
  • David L. Nathan, MD, DFAPA is President and Board of Directors of Doctors for Cannabis Reform, Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He is a practicing Harvard-educated psychiatrist who will address issues around mental health and marijuana legalization. 
  • Corey Pegues, former NYPD precinct commander now with Law Enforcement Action Partnership, recently published a Daily News op-ed calling for legalization and has testified to the NYS Assembly in support of legalization
  • Lisa Tane is a School Board member in Westchester County, and a parent, who will provide suburban perspective in support of legalization
  • Jag Davies (moderator), DPA’s director of communications strategy, will provide context on the overwhelming public and political support for marijuana legalization both in New York and nationally

Register in advance for this teleconference here.

"We believe that New Yorkers deserve more than unmet promises and empty rhetoric around marijuana reform,” said Kassandra Frederique, New York State Director at the Drug Policy Alliance. “Each day marijuana legalization is not passed, someone is arrested, deported, evicted or loses custody of a child because of criminalization. Each day that New York’s leaders maintain prohibition, someone can’t pass a background check, has their parole revoked, or loses a job.”

Last week, DPA and 200-plus members of the Start SMART NY coalition from across the state held a 3-hour rally at the State Legislature in Albany. DPA and unlikely allies stood together to call for legalization in the budget as part of a rally outside Governor Cuomo’s office, which was featured on the front page of the Albany Times-Union.
The New York City Council also approved resolutions last week in support of DPA’s model for equitable marijuana legalization rooted in economic and racial justice.
“It is past time for the NY legislature to pass the Marijuana Regulation Taxation Act,” added Frederique. “It is also time for Governor Cuomo to keep his commitment to marijuana reform, and the justice that he has promised. The clock for passing marijuana justice starts now."

Marijuana Legalization and Regulation
New York