New Governor Andrew Cuomo Uses Debunked ‘Gateway Theory’ to Justify His Opposition to Legalizing Marijuana

VOCAL-NY: NY Is Behind the Curve on Marijuana Legalization; Cuomo Needs to Lead, Not Stand in Way of Sensible Reform

New York–(ENEWSPF)–February 10, 2017.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo reiterated his opposition to legalizing marijuana for recreational use on Wednesday as he told reporters that he believes it is a “gateway drug.”

“It’s a gateway drug, and marijuana leads to other drugs and there’s a lot of proof that that’s true,” the Democratic governor said before attending the grand opening of a new casino. “There’s two sides to the argument. But I, as of this date, I am unconvinced on recreational marijuana.”

Statement from Alyssa Aguilera, co-director of VOCAL-NY:

“It is disappointing to see Governor Cuomo repeat the same-old, tired talking points about the failed war on drugs. Marijuana is not a gateway drug, the scientific research proves it. If anything, marijuana is a gateway to mass incarceration as demonstrated by the tens of thousands of mostly black and Latino New Yorkers who continue to be arrested every year. With the ruthless drug warrior Jeff Sessions at the helm of the Department of Justice, now is not the time for more roadblocks towards legalization at the state level. Sensible marijuana legalization will bring New York economic opportunity, reduce needless incarceration, provide access to medicine, and perhaps even quell our state’s growing opioid epidemic as an alternative prescription pain medicine. New York is behind the curve on marijuana reform, so why does Governor Cuomo continue to stand in the way of progress?”

Related Material:

Drug Policy Alliance Fact Sheet

Debunking the “Gateway” Myth; The vast majority of people who use marijuana do not go on to use other illicit drugs