Campaign Fact Check: Legalizing marijuana

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK -

Should recreational use of marijuana be legal in New York? That issue is lighting up the primary debate for governor.

Gubernatorial candidate and actress Cynthia Nixon says she believes the current law is racist. Nixon says someone is far more likely to be arrested for possessing marijuana if they are a minority.

That fact checks out. According to the Police Reform Organizing Committee, 93 percent of those arrested for marijuana possession in New York City are people of color.

Only last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo reiterated his stance against legalizing marijuana, calling it a "gateway drug."

But Cuomo may be changing his mind. His own state Health Department backs legalizing marijuana, and so does the state Democratic party.

One big factor is that recreational marijuana is legal in Massachusetts and may soon be OK in New Jersey as well.  With two neighbor states lighting up, New York's current marijuana laws may go up in smoke.

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