In an unprecedented and frankly unexpected political move yesterday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo held a press conference and announced that he supports legislation to amend and modernize New York’s thirty-four year old cannabis ‘decriminalization’ laws.
The state and national press reaction has been both overwhelming and uniformly positive. Even Mayor Michael Bloomberg and long-serving NYPD chief Raymond Kelly, the barely cloaked targets of Cuomo’s actions for their overly aggressive and racially disparate enforcement of cannabis laws in New York City over the last decade, have publicly stated that they too support Governor Cuomo’s call for change in cannabis laws in New York.
My own speculation is that Governor Cuomo, eying the Democratic nomination to the U.S. presidency in 2016, wants to properly position himself as a bona fide cannabis law reformer as cannabis law reform is actually a very popular political topic among the American electorate as approximately seventy-five percent of the public supports medical access to cannabis; seventy-three percent support decriminalization cannabis use and possession; and now fifty percent of the public supports outright cannabis legalization.
You know the end of Cannabis Prohibition is on the near horizon when ascending politicians believe the need for beefing up on their cannabis law reform successes is a necessary prelude to run for president.
Apparently, MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell and Drug Policy Alliance director Ethan Nadelmann agree too with my speculations about Governor Cuomo…