NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With the state budget deadline just days away, officials reached a deal Wednesday to make marijuana legal — a key priority outlined by Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a press conference apparently designed to send a message to his detractors not to underestimate him.
They’re still dotting the I’s and Crossing the the T’s, but sources told CBS2’s Marcia Kramer that lawmakers and Cuomo have reached an agreement to legalize pot in New York.
The deal, which is expected to be voted on next week, would reportedly make it legal to sell marijuana products for adult use and allow residents to have a limited number of marijuana plants in their homes.
The agreement is also expected to benefit communities who were disproportionately affected by harsh drug sentencing laws and to put an emphasis on small businesses setting up to sell cannabis products.
It came after a press conference in which the governor outlined his budget priorities — public safety reform, rebuilding the state, rental assistance, nursing home reform, and legalizing marijuana.
“We have passed the point of legalized cannabis. It’s in New Jersey. It’s in Massachusetts,” Cuomo said.
“It’s clearly not true,” he said.
Cuomo said his detractors don’t understand the job.
“The nature of being governor is there are always multiple situations to deal with. The past four years we had to deal with Donald Trump as president. You want to talk about a distraction? That was a distraction,” Cuomo said.
But he ducked Kramer’s questions about whether he supports the Legislature’s call for a $7 billion increase in taxes on the wealthy and corporations.
“I tried to convince them on all the issues we just discussed — $2.5 billion versus $7 billion, right? They try to convince me the opposite way and that’s the budget compromise,” Cuomo said.
The governor refused to answer questions about the sexual harassment investigations. But for a man facing charges of forcing the women who work for him to wear heels and dress a certain way, there was a sort of in-your-face comment about the two female aides with him, Kelly Cummings and Molly Riley.
“It’s a coincidence that Kelly and Molly happen to have the same attire today. I believe it’s a coincidence. I know it’s a coincidence. It’s not like any government regulation,” Cuomo said.
Although he has admitted his obsession with on-time budgets, Cuomo said it might not happen this year. He tried to blame the coronavirus pandemic. Others think it might have something to do with his weakened political position.