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Sep 4, 2018 5:15 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

New York Moves Closer To Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

New York State is one step closer to legalizing recreational marijuana. PRESS FILE
Sep 4, 2018 5:59 PM

New York State may be one step closer to legalizing recreational marijuana.

Just last week, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that a series of 15 public listening sessions will be held throughout the state this September and October to garner public opinion on the possibility of legalization.

On Long Island, a discussion is scheduled for Thursday, September 27—although the time and exact location have not yet been disclosed.

The meetings will serve to assist the state’s Regulated Marijuana Workgroup, which includes government representatives, law enforcement officials and experts in public health, mental health, substance use, taxation and finance. It is tasked with drafting legislation for a regulated adult-use marijuana program for the legislature to review in the upcoming session.

The announcement comes after Mr. Cuomo commissioned a multi-agency study in January to investigate the potential impacts of a recreational marijuana program in New York.

The study, which was led by the State Department of Health, examined the health, economic, public safety and criminal justice impacts of legalization. According to a press release, it was determined that the positive impacts outweigh the potential consequences—which can be reduced through regulation and education.

“The multi-agency report identified the benefits of a regulated marijuana market, and with these listening sessions we are taking another important step to develop a model program for New York,” Mr. Cuomo said in a statement. “We look forward to hearing what New Yorkers in every corner of the state have to say.”

On the East End, New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. said he needs more information and is not yet ready to commit to legalizing the recreational use of marijuana by adults.

“At this stage, mark me down as undecided,” he said on Tuesday. “I’ve supported the decriminalization of marijuana, and I’ve supported medical marijuana. But I need more information when it comes to the regulation of adult-use marijuana. We’ll certainly need more details on what the governor is presenting in January.”

New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle did not immediately return phone calls this week, but in the past he opposed legislation to legalize medical marijuana and to decriminalize the recreational use of marijuana.

While Mr. Thiele noted that marijuana possession is not something he thinks should go on someone’s criminal record, he said that he is concerned about the message that legalization would send to young people and those struggling with substance abuse.

“A lot of people involved in the opioid crisis think and believe that marijuana is a gateway drug, and that we’re sending the wrong message with regard to legalizing marijuana,” he said. “That’s certainly a factor that I would consider. I think we need to do more than just looking at proposals and long-term impacts of a policy shift—hopefully, these listening sessions will help to guide legislation.”

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I think the Governor is inhaling. Just enlarging a problem. NY mayor is just as bad.
We are trying to STOP DRUG USE, not promote it...
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Sep 5, 18 12:33 PM
What is a drug to you?

A chemical substance that when consumed affects your brain chemistry?

Then I have bad news about cigarettes, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, fatty foods, etc.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 6, 18 8:42 AM
Just legalize it already!
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Sep 8, 18 7:49 AM
1 member liked this comment
Enough dopes around and not smoking!!!
By knitter (1941), Southampton on Sep 8, 18 5:46 PM
medical makes perfect sense.

recreational is a sticky wicket. Obvious there is money to be made and any drug that impairs you has a societal impact. My issues would be: we use alcohol measures for a DUI with marijuana..that's apples and oranges, it remains a Class I narcotic per the Federal register, Employment Laws are federal..just because it is legal does not mean you can smoke in a Zero Tolerance work place, it suns counter to our efforts to prevent smoking and tobacco use (inhaling ...more
By Hambone (514), New York on Sep 10, 18 10:35 PM
Oxygen can kill you as well. Hyperoxia ain't pretty...
By Mr. Z (11847), North Sea on Sep 10, 18 10:43 PM
I think you raise a great issue about the dilemma of how to identify and prosecute DUIs. There is not such thing as a cannabis breathalyzer and swabs that claim to serve the same function can be easily circumvented with some mouthwash or even a meal.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 11, 18 8:44 AM
Recreational pot is good for exactly nobody I care about.
Cuomo is just trying to fake being a lefty to get re-elected. What he really is is an idiot.
By CPalmer (122), Southampton on Sep 11, 18 12:02 PM
Neither is recreational alcohol, right?

Having the freedom to make detrimental decisions in the long-term for immediate gratification should be our right.

My body, my choice.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 11, 18 4:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
Marijuana causes Reefer Madness -- it's users lives are ruined as they slip further and further into insanity. People who peacefully ingest a plant should be violently be impisioned in for-profit corporate prisons ; )

On another note, CGC has been on a tear the past six weeks.
By Aeshtron (431), Southampton on Sep 11, 18 4:07 PM
2 members liked this comment
Of course NY State will legalize pot. It's all about money. Get hundreds of thousands of new users and reap millions every month on tax. Why do you think they hate vapors? Cut's into the mob's, I mean government's tobacco profits. They could care less about what billions of dollars this causes in health care.
By BruceB (142), Sag Harbor on Sep 11, 18 5:45 PM
And we were always told money doesn't grow on trees. Alas, it actually does.
By even flow (1023), East Hampton on Sep 11, 18 5:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
keep dumbing down the population
best way to keep control
By Shinnecock Hills family (59), Southampton on Sep 12, 18 8:47 PM
Alternatively, we can keep locking people up for something that doesn't hurt anyone.
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8265), HAMPTON BAYS on Sep 12, 18 10:56 PM
Legalize it. Don't Criticize It.

Doctors smoke it
Nurses smoke it
Judges smoke it
Even lawyer, too
By C Law (354), Water Mill on Sep 13, 18 9:31 AM