Update: With the resignation of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo after the release of a damning investigation into "allegations of sexual harassment," Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul will take over as of August 24, becoming the state's first female governor.
Cuomo has been accused of harassing 11 female New York State employees by "engaging in unwelcome and nonconsensual touching as well as making numerous offensive comments of a suggestive and sexual nature that created a hostile work environment for women." Read the 168-page report issued by Attorney General Letitia James here.
As Governor-designate Hochul awaits her turn, reformers are wondering where she stands on cannabis, which was legalized by the legislature on March 31. Hochul, 62, is a former Congress member from Buffalo and has served as lieutenant governor since 2015.
Last January 27, she told Cheeddar News legalization is "long overdue."
"We've had an unjust system for so long, so we're really excited about getting this passed. Once we do, we'll join the other states that are finally enlightened enough to realize that this should be legalized."
Hochul added: "We need the money. People who were reluctant before didn't join us in promoting this. Now, all of a sudden, you're saying, 'Well, I guess because of Covid, with a $15 billion budget deficit, we need to find money anywhere we can.'"
She tweeted on January 12: "Recreational marijuana should be legalized, regulated and taxed in New York. It’s time to get this done. This is about jobs and boosting our economy."
Recreational marijuana should be legalized, regulated and taxed in New York. It’s time to get this done.— Kathy Hochul (@LtGovHochulNY) January 12, 2020
This is about jobs and boosting our economy. #SOTS2020 #MakingProgressHappen https://t.co/CkrJ17eP0V
Five days earlier, Hochul tweeted: "It's time to finally legalize recreational marijuana and create an equitable adult-use cannabis program that generates much-needed revenue for New York."
Hochul did not support Cuomo's effort to stave off impeachment. On Aug. 3, she tweeted: "Sexual harassment is unacceptable in any workplace, and certainly not in public service. The AG’s investigation has documented repulsive & unlawful behavior by the Governor towards multiple women. I believe these brave women & admire their courage coming forward. No one is above the law. Under the New York Constitution, the Assembly will now determine the next steps. Because Lieutenant Governors stand next in the line of succession, it would not be appropriate to comment further on the process at this moment."
No one is above the law. Under the New York Constitution, the Assembly will now determine the next steps.— Kathy Hochul (@LtGovHochulNY) August 3, 2021
Because Lieutenant Governors stand next in the line of succession, it would not be appropriate to comment further on the process at this moment. 2/2
It looks like New York will be in good hands once Hochul officially takes over in Albany.
This article was originally posted on August 4. It has been updated.