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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

Venezuela suspends talks with opposition after Maduro ally extradited to U.S.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro in Caracas, Venezuela, in June. Photo: Gaby Oraa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A key ally of Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro was extradited from Cape Verde to the U.S. Saturday to face money laundering charges in Florida, Bloomberg first reported.

Why it matters: Venezuela's government called off negotiations with opposition officials that were scheduled for Sunday in Mexico in response to the extradition of Alex Saab, a Colombian businessman and financial fixer for Maduro.

4 hours ago - Health

5 times as many police officers have died from COVID as from guns since pandemic began

Photo: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

COVID-19 is the leading cause of death for police officers even though members of law enforcement were among the first to be eligible to receive the vaccine, CNN reports, citing data from the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Why it matters: Nearly 476 police officers have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic started, compared to the 93 deaths as a result of gunfire in the same time period, according to ODMP and CNN.

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, a group with ties to prominent Democrats that's been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin from the right.