Cuomo drops demand for lawmakers to include legal pot in state budget

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WOODBURY -

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has dropped his demand that lawmakers propose legalizing the adult use of recreational marijuana in the new state budget.

The move comes after a wide range of education, health and law enforcement groups urged lawmakers to take more time to study the impact.

Cuomo estimated that a marijuana tax could bring in $300 million over three years, which was to be dedicated to repair and improvements at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. But on Tuesday, the governor expressed doubt that a decision on the matter can be made with state lawmakers by the budget's April 1 deadline.

"We are no longer budgeting the revenues from cannabis for the MTA because we are not sure an agreement will be reached in time for it to be included in the budget. But negotiations are ongoing," a spokesperson for Cuomo's office said in a statement.

In recent days, both county executives of Nassau and Suffolk announced plans to exercise the opt-out option if the state legalized the sale of recreational pot.

Cuomo says the marijuana matter could still be worked out after the budget is passed. But he admitted the controversial issue could be more difficult to resolve at that point.

Read more:
Nassau report doubles down on opting out of legal pot sales
Nassau, Suffolk county executives plan to opt out if New York legalizes pot
Curran touts accomplishments, says no legal pot sales in State of the County
Nassau creates task force to prepare for possibility of legal pot

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