Capitol Confidential is a pop-up column tracking dozens of cannabis bills and initiatives across the nation. We’ll continue to offer a weekly roundup of political action through the end of the legislative season in June.
Coronavirus distancing & sheltering orders halt most legislative action
Leafly will continue to cover national and state developments in cannabis politics, but most cannabis-related bills have been put on hold due to the coronavirus health crisis. Capitol Confidential’s weekly cadence will move to a monthly schedule, with regular news coverage of major political events.
New York budget due April 1, likely without legalization
This year’s push to legalize cannabis in New York has gone from messy to downright chaotic.
Even as Gov. Andrew Cuomo renewed his call for cannabis legalization to be included in state budget legislation, critics last week urged him to focus on passing a less controversial budget quickly to address the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit the state comparatively hard so far. “This is both a public health and a moral issue,” Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) told Newsday. “Let’s have this conversation after we get through the public health crisis.”
Another lawmaker echoed that sentiment: “I don’t believe marijuana is going to be negotiated in this budget in the next few days,” Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan) told WMHT. “I just don’t see it as realistic.” Budget legislation is due by April 1. Amid the uncertainty, lawmakers last week unveiled a revised bill to legalize, which could still be rolled into the state budget, even though many supporters doubt that will happen.