New York State Sen.: Legalizing Weed Is "the Right Thing to Do"

In Vermont, the governor just signed a law allowing people to consume marijuana recreationally. The newly inaugurated governor of New Jersey has made it clear that he wants weed legalized.

But in neighboring New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo -- an outspoken opponent of legalized marijuana -- has, well, appointed a task force to study the issue.

State Senator Gustavo Rivera, however, thinks that what is happening in the other states will inevitably lead New York to liberalize its laws.

"When something is legal in one state and not legal in another, you will have people crossing the border to go and get it," Senator Rivera said in an interview Tuesday on Cheddar's weekly "Cannabiz" show. "You see that with firecrackers; they're legal in many states but illegal in others. So certainly it can have an impact on what happens in one state, when people of that state go to another to acquire it, which is why, yes, there is pressure now."

Governor Cuomo has long argued that marijuana was a "gateway drug" that could lead to the use of other, more dangerous drugs. As recently as a year ago, he said, "I am unconvinced on recreational marijuana." His creation of a task force to study the legalization issues suggests that his views have softened, at least somewhat.

But Senator Rivera, a Democrat who represents portions of the Bronx, says the issue is pretty clear-cut. "Many of us are saying let's make sure that we do the right thing in the state of New York, that we push for recreational marijuana to exist in New York. It would be the right thing to do."

For full segment click here.

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