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Photo: Ronen Tivony/NurPhoto via Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that he plans to work to legalize recreational marijuana next year in the state "once and for all" — the latest in a string of recent policy shifts embracing legalization of the drug.

The big picture: 1o states and D.C. have already legalized recreational marijuana, while it's legal in 33 states and D.C. for medical purposes. One of the biggest arguments state and local government officials have for legalization is the revenue it could bring — in New York, it could bring in more than $1.7 billion annually.

  • Cuomo's reversal on marijuana is notable, as he called it a "gateway drug" publicly as recently as last year.
  • Last week, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel called for lawmakers to legalize weed in Illinois, one of the states where it remains fully illegal. Emanuel's plan calls for the city's marijuana revenues to be paid back directly into its pensions.
  • Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner plans to introduce an amendment to the bipartisan criminal justice reform bill being discussed in the Senate this week, which would allow cannabis-focused businesses to open bank accounts in states where marijuana has been legalized.
  • In the midterms, three out of four state measures to legalize marijuana either medically or recreationally passed.
  • The farm bill, which passed last week, legalized the commercial production of hemp — a type of cannabis plant conflated with marijuana, though it lacks similar THC levels.

Go deeper ... Great green hope: The big picture on legal marijuana

Go deeper

Updated 46 mins ago - Technology

Mayors see cryptocurrency as a way to address income inequality

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors' meeting in D.C. this week, there's buzz around the idea of giving cryptocurrency accounts to low-income people.

Why it matters: Cities have been experimenting with newfangled ways to address income inequality — like guaranteed income programs — and the latest wave of trials could involve paying benefits or dividends in bitcoin, stablecoin or other digital currencies.

Updated 48 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: FDA OKs antiviral drug remdesivir for non-hospitalized COVID patients — Walensky: CDC language "pivoting" on "fully vaccinated" — Fauci: "Confident" Omicron cases will peak in February
  2. Vaccines: Team USA 100% vaccinated against COVID ahead of Beijing Olympics — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America — Annual COVID vaccine preferable to boosters, says Pfizer CEO.
  3. Politics: Arizona governor sues Biden administration over COVID funds tied to mandates — Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults — Beijing officials urge COVID-19 "emergency mode" before Winter Olympics.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated 3 hours ago - Sports

Experts predict major boom for North American sports stadiums

Rendering of the $375 million Moody Center on the UT-Austin campus. Photo courtesy of Moody Center

Stadium and arena construction in North America will total a relatively tame $5.8 billion this year, a 12% decrease from 2021.

The big picture: What the industry lacks in construction it expects to make up for in design, with experts predicting a sports venue boom over the next half-decade, SBJ reports.