A recent proposal from Gov. Andrew Cuomo would crack down on stores that illegally sell untaxed cigarettes from other states.
Regarding this proposal, the Governor commented: “‘Cigarettes claim thousands of lives each year, and we will not turn a blind eye to retailers who deliberately flout the law just to make an extra buck at the expense of the health of New Yorkers. With this proposal, unscrupulous businesses will face steeper fines or closure instead of just a slap on the wrist.’” Earlier this year, New York increased the age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21.
At New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, we find Gov. Cuomo’s cigarette crackdown puzzling. Why? Because the same governor who is cracking down on cigarettes has publicly proclaimed his support for recreational marijuana. According to WRVO, the Governor “took some steps to further the goal of legalizing marijuana” this fall, including holding a meeting with the governors of neighboring states to work on a “multi-state approach to legalization.” In addition, the Governor has hired a new Director of Cannabis Programs.
It is important that legislators—especially Democratic state legislators in swing districts—hear strong opposition from their constituents about this important issue.
Recreational marijuana didn’t get legalized in New York in 2019. It doesn’t have to get legalized in 2020, either—but those of us who oppose it have a lot of work to do.