Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that he would push to legalize recreational marijuana next year, a move that could bring in more than $1.7 billion in sales annually and put New York in line with several neighboring states.
The highly anticipated proposal came in a speech Mr. Cuomo gave in Manhattan on Monday, in which he outlined his agenda for the first 100 days of his third term.
“The fact is we have had two criminal justice systems: one for the wealthy and the well off, and one for everyone else,” Mr. Cuomo said, describing the injustice that he said had “for too long targeted the African-American and minority communities.”
“Let’s legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all,” he added.
Ten other states and Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana, spending the new tax revenue on a host of initiatives, including schools and transportation.
The idea is expected to win support in Albany, where Democrats captured the State Senate in November for the first time in a decade. Members of the Assembly, which is dominated by New York City Democrats, have supported such a measure as well.
It follows a report issued in July by a state Department of Health commission that Mr. Cuomo had charged with studying the issue after Massachusetts legalized recreational use in 2016 and as New Jersey moves to do the same. The commission concluded that the benefit of taxing and regulating the drug outweighed any potential negative effects.