Is Andrew Cuomo ‘Evolving’ on Medical Marijuana?

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Andrew Cuomo, probably thinking about marijuana. Photo: Audrey C. Tiernan-Pool/Getty Images

With Governor Chris Christie's blessing, New Jersey will now begin implementing a medical-marijuana law signed by former governor Jon Corzine in 2010, and some New Yorkers are starting to feel that the grass, if you will, is greener on the other side of the river. Spurred by Christie's decision, State Senator Diane Savino, a co-sponsor of a proposed medical-marijuana law in New York, sent a letter to Governor Cuomo yesterday urging him to "lend [his] support and your leadership to this legislation." Unfortunately for Savino, and for any sick people who would benefit from lighting up a legal joint, Cuomo made it clear just nine months ago that he wasn't a fan of medical marijuana:


"The dangers of medical marijuana outweigh the benefits," said Cuomo, who has admitted using marijuana in his youth. "I don't think the bill passes."

Told that pot's legalization could generate revenues for the state, he said, "A lot of things could raise revenues. Legalizing prostitution could raise revenues. I'm against that, too."

However! Cuomo, asked about the issue at a press conference yesterday, said he's at least capable of being convinced otherwise.

Cuomo insists his position hasn't changed, and yet clearly, it's gone from "no" to "ehhh ... we'll see." According to recent polls, anywhere from 50 percent to 71 percent of New Yorkers favor legalizing medical marijuana. If that's not enough of an incentive for Cuomo, maybe the prospect of being less progressive on the issue than Chris Christie will be.

Cuomo Now Neutral On Medical Marijuana Issue [State of Politics/Capitol Tonight]