New York Governor Pushes To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

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New York Governor Pushes To Legalize Recreational Marijuana
​Andrew Cuomo said New York's marijuana laws have "for too long targeted the African-American and minority communities."
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In a speech Monday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he wants to legalize recreational marijuana use in his state.

Cuomo said: "We must also end the needless and unjust criminal convictions and the debilitating criminal stigma, and let's legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all."

He added that New York's marijuana laws have "for too long targeted the African-American and minority communities."

Cuomo seems to have warmed up to the idea of legalizing cannabis over the last year, which is a shift from his past comments that it's a "gateway drug." He even commissioned a study on marijuana legalization earlier this year that found the "positive effects of regulating an adult marijuana market in [New York] outweigh the potential negative impacts."

The governor didn't say what his next steps will be, but if New York does legalize recreational use, it would be the second-largest state to do so after California. So far, 10 other states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.