Huffpost New York

Governor Andrew Cuomo Softens Stance On Medical Marijuana (VIDEO)

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In 2010, New York gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo told reporters he was not a fan of medical marijuana.

"The dangers of medical marijuana outweigh the benefits," he said, according to The New York Daily News. And when told that reefer revenues could be great for the state's economy, he responded, "A lot of things could raise revenues. Legalizing prostitution could raise revenues. I'm against that, too."

But it seems 2011 Governor-elect Cuomo may be getting a contact high from New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who said Tuesday he'll allow the Garden State's medical marijuana law to move forward. When pressed on the issue Wednesday, Cuomo gave a markedly neutral response.

From Capitol Tonight:

“We have proponents of the policy, I know New Jersey is looking at it. We have opponents to the policy,” Cuomo said.

“We’re looking at both sides of the issue if you will and we’re reviewing it, but we don’t have a final position.”

State Senator Diane Savino, a co-sponsor of a proposed New York medical marijuana bill, sent a letter to the Governor yesterday, making a personal plea in hopes that he'll lend his support to the legislation. Savino lost both her parents to cancer.

“Anyone who has watched a loved one struggle with a debilitating illness would do almost anything to help alleviate their pain,” Savino wrote. “New Jersey showed real compassion for Garden State residents who are suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis and other life-threatening diseases. We need to follow this example and pass legislation to allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana when no other option is available.”

According to the most recent polls, anywhere from 50 to 75 percent of New Yorkers are in favor of medical marijuana. And although Cuomo claims his position hasn't changed, it seems clear, as Daily Intel puts it, that it's "gone from "no" to "ehhh ... we'll see."

Including New Jersey, 16 states have legalized medical marijuana.


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