Connecting state and local government leaders
Neither New York or Connecticut allow for recreational pot yet. But governors of the two states are interested in setting consistent guidelines for it.
Govs. Andrew Cuomo of New York and Ned Lamont of Connecticut said Wednesday that their states would work together on developing policies for legal marijuana, though neither state has legalized recreational pot yet.
Some of the areas where the Democratic governors suggested they might be able to collaborate and set consistent guidelines include: age restrictions for use, limits for marijuana potency, tax rates for cannabis products and highway safety.
Eleven states now have policies in place to allow for adult recreational cannabis use, but the drug remains outlawed at the federal level. In New York and Connecticut, lawmakers considered but failed to pass marijuana legalization proposals earlier this year.
“In concept, many people agree on the legalization of recreational marijuana, but like in many cases, the devil is going to be in the details,” Cuomo said. “How you do it will determine the success of the program. And doing that collectively and regionally makes sense.”
Lamont indicated that New York and Connecticut might try to work with other states, like New Jersey and Rhode Island, to come up with regionally aligned marijuana policies.
“We don't want to give up marijuana to the black market,” Lamont said.
The governors also said they planned to work together on vaping regulations. Officials from New York and Connecticut plan to meet on Oct. 17 for a summit to “develop guidelines and principles” for both pot and vaping oversight.
Cuomo noted rising concerns about health risks related to vaping, particularly among kids. "It makes no sense to pass one set of rules in New York when they can just drive across the border to Connecticut and have a different set of rules,” he said.
Bill Lucia is a Senior Reporter for Route Fifty and is based in Olympia, Washington.