Will people soon be smokin’ on Keisha in the Big Apple???
New York Lobbyist Argue For Mary Jane Legalization For State Revenue
Via NY Daily News
Medical marijuana could blunt the pain of New York’s budget crunch.
Proponents of pot as a medicine have renewed their push for legalization, arguing that licensing fees and taxes could generate hundreds of millions of dollars a year in new revenues for the cash-strapped state.
“There is a huge amount of revenue here,” said state Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island) who hopes to make New York the 18th state to legalize medical marijuana.
The high-minded talk comes as the state is reeling from Hurricane Sandy bills — and as the pot industry has hired one of the most powerful lobbying firms in Albany to define the issue as a budding financial opportunity.
“It has real economic impact,” said Patrick McCarthy, of the firm Patricia Lynch Associates.
Roll up, get money. Seems simple enough, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo isn’t quite convinced.
“I understand the benefits, but there are also risks, and I think the risks outweigh the benefits at this point,” Cuomo said earlier this year, even as he warned that Hurricane Sandy could add $1 billion to the state’s budget deficit this year alone.
Cuomo said more research is needed to prove that legalizing medical marijuana will help people with problems such as cancer and multiple sclerosis, yet not increase drug abuse and criminal activity.
And the state’s influential Conservative Party called legalization of medical marijuana “a horrible idea.”
“It sends a wrong message to the youth of the state, and that’s more important than any amount of revenue the state would take in,” said party Chairman Mike Long.
With 17 states, plus D.C., that have already legalized the stickiest of icky for those with proper prescription, why wait any longer?
What side of the piff-puffin’ fence are you on? Do you think legalization would increase crime and drug abuse?
Image via Shutterstock
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