New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio supports a proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in New York. “I have been convinced that we can establish a regulatory framework that keeps our streets safe, rights the wrongs of the past, and gives economic opportunity to communities hit hardest by the war on drugs,” de Blasio said in a statement to The New York Times on Wednesday.
De Blasio made the remarks just a few days after Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) urged state lawmakers to legalize recreational marijuana next year. The Times notes that Wednesday represented the first time de Blasio endorsed the legislation.
New York would join 10 other states and Washington, D.C., if it were to legalize recreational pot.
Cuomo did not outline a detailed plan for marijuana legalization. But The Times noted that New York City officials made recommendations for how it could approach the legalization in a 77-page report.
De Blasio endorsed endorsed legalized weed in a letter accompanying the report.
“Legal cannabis is coming to New York State,” de Blasio wrote. “When it does, we must do all we can to make sure that happens in a way that is safe, takes the health of New York City residents into account, and above all, provides opportunity while righting historic wrongs.”
De Blasio is expected to discuss the report and his position during a news conference on Thursday, according to The Times.
De Blasio’s endorsement for legalizing recreational marijuana represents a shift in his previous position. In September 2017, he said “I believe the laws we have now are the right laws,” according to The Times.