Analyst says Cuomo is 'more motivated' to legalize marijuana in New York as calls mount for him to resign over sexual harassment allegations

Analyst says Cuomo is 'more motivated' to legalize marijuana in New York as calls mount for him to resign over sexual harassment allegations
New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at a news conference on September 08, 2020 in New York City.Spencer Platt/Getty Images
  • An analyst note from BTIG says that Gov. Cuomo is motivated to pass legislation legalizing marijuana.
  • The governor has been accused of sexual harassment by several women including former staff.
  • Lawmakers introduced a legalization bill in January that is under negotiation.

New York state might soon legalize marijuana, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo "more motivated" to support the move to distract from recent sexual harassment allegations, analysts at BTIG say.

In early January, 19 lawmakers filed a marijuana bill for the 2021 session that would legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older in New York to consume and grow. This is the fifth time a version of the bill has been proposed in New York since 2013.

Cuomo expressed his support for the legislation in January in a daily press briefing. "I think this should've been passed years ago," Cuomo said. "I think too many people have been imprisoned, incarcerated, and punished," Cuomo said. "Too many of those people are Black, Latino, and poor. It's exaggerated the injustice of the justice system." Cuomo also noted that legalizing marijuana could help raise revenue against the state's $15 billion deficit.
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Cuomo is facing calls to resign from both of New York's senators and other prominent Democrats, including Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Hakeem Jeffries, and Jerry Nadler. The governor has been accused of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior by several women, including former aides.

BTIG analysts say that there could be a vote as early as this week before the state budget is due on April 1. Cuomo is "more motivated now to pass a highly popular piece of legislation that could have the added benefit of shifting public attention and and at the same time notch a win for the state and himself" the analysis says, as reported by Carl Quintanilla of MSNBC.

Cuomo has previously said that 2021 would be a good time for potential legalization as neighboring state New Jersey votes to legalize marijuana.
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