New York will study whether it’s plausible to legalize marijuana for recreational use as neighboring states move ahead with it, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.
Cuomo called on lawmakers to approve funding for a feasibility study as part of his annual state budget address, in which he laid out his spending proposal for the coming year.
The study would examine the effect legalization in Massachusetts, Vermont and possibly New Jersey would have on New York and what types of potential roadblocks could exist if the state were to relax its marijuana laws, particularly as the Trump administration has given prosecutors more leeway to prosecute federal-level marijuana laws.
Cuomo’s announcement comes after at least nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized small amounts of marijuana for recreational use.
That includes two of New York’s neighboring states: Massachusetts, whose voters approved legalized pot in 2016, and Vermont, where lawmakers voted in favor of it earlier this month.
Incoming New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has also said he supports legalizing recreational marijuana.
New York’s study would be led by the state Department of Health, which would work with State Police and other state agencies to examine the issue, Cuomo said.