Advocates, Cuomo disagree on status of marijuana legalization talks

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Marijuana advocates say negotiations at the state Capitol to legalize the drug for adult use have been halted as Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislative leaders this week try to nail down the final pieces of a state budget agreement.

Sources with knowledge of the matter said a number of rank-and-file legislators were told marijuana legalization talks were suspended on Monday.

Word of trouble with a marijuana deal – and including it in the state budget due later this week – came on the same day a vote was postponed in New Jersey to legalize marijuana. Like New York, the governor and legislative leaders in New Jersey all supported efforts to legalize adult use of the drug.

People close to the negotiations said New Jersey’s failure to advance a marijuana bill was closely watched in Albany. No state has gone through the legislative route to legalize the sale of marijuana; statewide referendum measures have been the most common route.

A group of marijuana legalization proponents, including the Drug Policy Alliance, medical marijuana industry representatives, hemp farmers and others gathered outside Cuomo’s Capitol office to urge him to get the marijuana talks restarted. [Read more at The Buffalo News]

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