After I went to all the trouble to agree with Governor Cuomo a year ago, saying I don’t support medical marijuana any more than he said he did, it now turns out that we’re mere moments away from legal weed… for seriously ill patients, only. Yahoo News gets a key point wrong, though:
Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has steadily resisted pressure to legalize marijuana, was expected to announce the plan at Wednesday’s State of the State address, according to the newspaper’s website.
That’s not true at all. In fact, he has suggested legalizing the possession 25g or less of marijuana. What he has objected to is medical marijuana. But no longer.
Why the Cuomo marijuana switch? Because medical marijuana is the “gateway drug” to fully-legalized pot? Recent history doesn’t bear this out. Why does California still not have legal weed? No, Colorado and Washington did not bother with this “intermediary” step.
It’s much more likely that, if New York gets medical marijuana, it becomes open season for everybody. What constitutes a “serious” medical condition will be diluted and more and more people will have prescriptions for fun. This is especially true in light of Colorado and Washington getting no-bullshit legal weed.
Speculating from a million miles away it strikes me that, because Governor Cuomo’s plan is to issue an executive order, the Senate and Legislature don’t have to take any heat for legalizing weed. The pressure is off for elected Conservatives who might agree with the idea of reforming our drug laws, but who do so at the peril of alienating their constituencies. They didn’t have to pull the trigger.
But they can vote for the Krueger bill that legalizes and taxes the herbals. Because, gosh, on top of Obamacare we don’t need Liberals in Albany turning doctors into pushers! They can vote for a bill that satisfies both the Libertarians who want weed decriminalized and the social Conservatives who will probably view medical marijuana as a step towards the… oh, Californication.. of New York.
Certainly, I’m hoping there is a Cuomo marijuana plan that extends beyond medical marijuana. New York State struck a major blow for marriage equality and human dignity when they voted to legalize same sex marriage. We can once again strike a blow for social justice by being the most populous state with legal recreational weed, ending decades of useless criminal records, shame, and economic and racial disparity in our justice system.