NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio is endorsing the legalization of recreational marijuana in New York City, according to a report released Wednesday.
In a letter accompanying the 77-page report outlining his vision for legal cannabis, the mayor calls it a “once-in-a-generation opportunity to get a historic issue right.”
De Blasio joins Governor Andrew Cuomo in calling for legalization, which Cuomo came out in favor of in a Monday speech, a move already being pushed in New Jersey.
Cuomo and state health officials released a report during the summer recommending the legalization of marijuana in New York State.
The governor’s report concluded that “taxing and regulating marijuana far outweighs any potential negative consequences.” The report recommended allowing recreational marijuana be made available to adults across the state and claims taxes would bring in over $1.3 billion each year from sales of the controversial substance.
“Legal cannabis is coming to New York State,” de Blasio wrote. “When it does, we must do all we can to make sure that happens in a way that is safe, takes the health of New York City residents into account, and above all, provides opportunity while righting historic wrongs.”
De Blasio warned against potential corporate domination of the new industry, instead envisioning a scenario where “New Yorkers build their own cannabis industry, led by small businesses and organized to benefit our whole diverse community.”
“Tragically, we know what happens when corporations run the show,” de Blasio said, alluding to the tobacco industry.
The race for state revenue from marijuana is in part driven by competition from across the Hudson River. New Jersey’s Gov. Phil Murphy has said legalization of marijuana could be ready in New Jersey by January.
The mayor is expected to discuss hot-button topic at a press conference Thursday morning.