ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A report from New York state health officials is recommending the legalization of marijuana.
The 74-page analysis released Friday concludes that the benefits of legalization outweigh potential risks. It suggests the state could raise nearly $700 million in tax revenue off the drug, and that legalization won't significantly increase rates of marijuana use by adults or teens.
The report predicts that legalizing marijuana could reduce opioid dependency while eliminating criminal penalties that disproportionately impact minorities.
It will now be up to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers to propose specific legalization proposals.
Cuomo has long expressed concerns about legalization, last year calling marijuana a "gateway drug." But he has softened his stance amid pressure from legalization supporters, including his Democratic primary opponent, "Sex and the City" star Cynthia Nixon.