Why Cuomo Sucks, Continued
The Drug War Chronicle notes another race in which the drug policy positions are not what you would expect in light of the Democratic Party's mostly undeserved reputation for being relatively tolerant in this area:
New York Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that he opposes legislation to allow for the use of medical marijuana in the Empire State. Cuomo's remarks came in response to a question prompted by a statement by Republican nominee Carl Paladino a week earlier that the subject should be put to a popular vote.
Unfortunately, "New York does not have a voter initiative process," but Paladino's instinct to "let the people decide" is still preferable to Cuomo's flat-out no:
When asked by reporters Sunday about medical marijuana, Cuomo said he opposed a medical marijuana bill that had passed the state Assembly. "I think the dangers outweigh the benefits," he said. "I understand the benefits. I understand that it's been tried in other places. I think the risks outweigh the benefits."
When asked about possible revenues from taxing medical marijuana, Cuomo refused to bite. "A lot of things could raise revenues," he said. "Legalizing prostitution could raise revenues. I'm against that, too."
So that's two strikes against Cuomo right there. Reason Contributing Editor Walter Olson suggests a third: Cuomo's enthusiastic support for city-sponsored litigation aimed at restricting Second Amendment rights by suing the gun industry into submission:
Because that litigation mostly fizzled out, it is now only half remembered and doesn't much feature in Cuomo profiles. At the time, though, it was a close-fought battle and a big story. More than 30 cities and counties sued firearms makers, alleging that courts should hold them financially responsible for the costs of urban shootings. The cry was to make guns the "next tobacco," following the successful litigation campaign against tobacco companies that extracted hundreds of billions of dollars for the benefit of state coffers (and private lawyers).