By Yancey Roy
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday called for legalizing recreational marijuana as part of a 2019 legislative agenda that reflected a more leftward course now that Democrats control every lever of New York state government.
In an address to the New York City Bar Association, Cuomo completed a 180-degree turn on pot. A former opponent of not only recreational marijuana but also medical marijuana, the governor said: "Let's legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all."
Cuomo, re-elected to a third term in November, called for more than a dozen major policy initiatives _ all of which were long championed by Democrats in the State Legislature but blocked by a Republican-controlled State Senate. Democrats won a commanding Senate majority in this year's elections.
Some of the initiatives include: Banning gun "bump stocks," easing voter registration and making Election Day a state holiday, outlawing corporate campaign contributions, ending cash bail and enacting "congestion pricing" for vehicles traveling in parts of Manhattan. Cuomo also called for reorganizing the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, but didn't give specifics.
The governor called for ending "vacancy decontrol," the process whereby primarily New York City apartments can be removed from rent-control oversight when tenants move out.
The legislative session is set to begin Jan. 9.