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As Goes Colorado, So Goes the Nation?
Posted on Jan 5, 2014
Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York who has opposed any relaxation of anti-pot laws in his state, reportedly now backs limited use by medical patients, more evidence of a national thaw in attitudes since Colorado, most notably, and Washington state legalized marijuana.
To date, 21 states and the District of Columbia allow marijuana use in some circumstances, but only Colorado and Washington allow its recreational use—despite federal laws that continue to list pot as a controlled substance.
Expanding the relaxation of pot laws in New York could be a significant signpost in broader legalization of marijuana, given the state and the city’s role in determining what the national media cover. From Saturday’s New York Times:
The Times piece makes it seem like Cuomo is just trying to keep up with potential political rivals—Gov. Chris Christie signed a relaxation of New Jersey laws, and since his election as mayor, Bill de Blasio is the only Democrat New Yorkers seem to be talking about lately.
But the change in stance also reflects popular attitudes toward legalization. A recent Gallup poll found that 58 percent of Americans support legalization in some form, and California, which already allows medical use, may face a ballot initiative to have the state join Colorado and Washington in allowing recreational use. In fact, local and state governments are flooding to the pro-pot side, according to CNN:
The Governing website has put together a map here of all the states and their openness to marijuana, a map, apparently, that will soon need updating. Once the smoke clears, of course. Now pass the snack chips, please. Kind of hungry all of a sudden.
—Posted by Scott Martelle.
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