Revised marijuana legalization bill in NY could erase 300,000 criminal convictions

New York State is within 48 hours of joining the ranks of 10 other states where recreational marijuana is legal, or doing the same thing its neighbor New Jersey did during this legislative session -- coming incredibly close to passing a legalization measure, only to see it shot down.

"I am cautiously optimistic," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday morning about the prospect of a recreational marijuana legalization measure passing.

However, some marijuana legalization advocates say that the reason the drug is not on the fast track to legalization is the governor himself.

After having always been against legal marijuana, only to change because of pressure during his re-election campaign, critics say that Cuomo is not nearly strong enough of an advocate now.

“It's time to put your weight behind your words,” said David Holland, executive director of the New York branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML. “You know it's good for this state, you know it's good for this nation, you know it's good for business opportunities,” Holland said, referring to Gov. Cuomo.

For his part, the governor said the measure could go down to the wire.

“You don’t know what they're going to do until they do it,” he said about legislators in Albany. “Until they vote, nothing else matters.”

The legislature has until the end of the day on Wednesday to pass the measure or not.

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