The state Legislature is close to a deal on legalizing marijuana for recreational, adult use in New York, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said Monday, with lawmakers now trying to move on the issue in the next two weeks.
Heastie, D-Bronx, said Democrats who control both chambers of the Legislature are near an agreement, and that Gov. Andrew Cuomo appears to be moving closer to their proposal.
“I think we’re trying to get it done before we pass the budget,” Heastie said. “I think the executive is moving closer to where Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes and Sen. Krueger are.”
Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes, D-Buffalo and Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan, have led negotiations in recent years on legalizing marijuana in New York, but the votes weren’t there to move on it until this year.
Sources say discussions on legalization are now moving quickly, and that a deal could be announced as early as this week. A few days is also an eternity in Albany, so an agreement could just as easily fall apart.
But, in a signal that lawmakers expect to strike a deal before the end of the month, a plan to legalize marijuana wasn’t included in either one-house budget proposal approved Monday by the State Senate and Assembly. [Read more at New York Now]