Andrew Cuomo Not Down With Medical Marijuana Bill Just Yet

A man lights marijuana during a demo in support of the legalization of marijuana, in Mexico City, on May 7, 2011.
Photo: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

A report in the Wall Street Journal this morning gave some glimmer of hope to the idea that a medical marijuana bill could pass in New York this year. The push is being led by Senator Diane Savino of Staten Island, who explained that she was optimistic about the odds if Democrats could get Governor Andrew Cuomo on their side. “He hasn’t said no,” Savino said. “He’s willing to have a conversation.” Not quite, Cuomo countered this afternoon.

My position has been that there are tremendous risks here, also,” the magically popular governor explained today. “I understand the benefits, but there are also risks and I think the risks outweigh the benefits at this point. I understand there’s more research and there’s more evidence and it can always be re-evaluated. I don’t think there’s going to be time this legislative session to analyze that issue.”

As a gubernatorial candidate, Cuomo declared that the dangers of medical marijuana “outweigh the benefits,” but he left some wiggle room last summer when he said he didn’t have a “final position” on the issue. In 2010, a poll found that 71 percent of New York voters,  and even 55 percent of Republicans, supported adult marijuana use with a prescription. So Cuomo’s just being a bummer.

Cuomo Not Down With Medical Marijuana Bill