Drug legalization

Democrats, the party of pot

Beto O'Rourke is interviewed in the spin room after last week's debate in Houston. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Beto O'Rourke is interviewed in the spin room after last week's debate in Houston. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Joining other 2020 Democrats, Beto O'Rourke released Thursday an "End the War on Drugs" proposal to legalize marijuana "and begin to repair the damage [the war on drugs] has done to communities of color."

Why it matters: The issue reflects how fast 2020 Democrats have moved toward their base. Legalizing marijuana, with a focus on social justice, unites the field, per the N.Y. Times.

New York decriminalizes marijuana use

Andrew Cuomo speaks at an event
Andrew Cuomo delivers a speech earlier this month. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Monday to decriminalize marijuana use in the state. Under the law, use could still result in a fine, but will not be considered a criminal offense that could result in prison time.

The big picture: New York joins 15 other states that have decriminalized. 11 states plus Washington D.C. have legalized marijuana.

Go Deeper: Deep Dive: The burgeoning marijuana industry