The New York Department of Health feels that properly regulated marijuana use in New York will have a positive impact on the economy. Governor Andrew Coumo is expected by marijuana advocates to address the issue of reforming the current medical laws into recreational use like California.
Just this past Tuesday, Richard Azzopardi, a spokesperson for the Governor, told NBC News theyre drafting legislation to fully decriminalize cannabis. A committee of 16 members was formed so that public hearings could be held to get feedback on their marijuana legalization plan.
Cuomo earlier in the year already hired multiple agencies to do studies of regulated cannabis use in New York, which will supplement their findings on current public opinion. Although the study is private, the conclusion of the multi-agency research effort is regulated marijuana use will have very negative impact on the state. New York director of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), Kassandra Frederique, is helping the governor and lawmakers to outline strategies to insure new recreational marijuana use policies run smoothly.
Two major focuses are to allow people with minor marijuana convictions to get their records expunged and the DPA would like to target business opportunities in minority areas. A conference held in Albany was held to go over every available resource to begin dictating how recreational laws will be put into place next year. Opponents to marijuana decriminalization, like Kevin Sabet from the Smart Approaches to Marijuana group advised the committee that changing the laws so quickly never goes right. This group originated in Colorado, but now has an office in New York. There exact concerns are not known, but the progression of marijuana into our daily lives is growing at a rapid rate and the larger public opinion will usually always be the benefits outweigh the problems.
Perhaps it should be considered that it was just a couple years ago when Governor Cuomo called marijuana a gateway drug and now he's pushing toward recreational cannabis use is a very large step for New York. Many states have only made the medicinal use of marijuana legal. Last August Cuomo stated that is main concerns were the impact to State revenue, legal system and alternative treatment for patients. When considering the advantages of marijuana decriminalization in these three areas alone, it's hard to find large enough reasons to maintain status quo.
A state like New York is by no means behind in its modernization of public policy. Richard Gottfried, of the Assembly Health Committee, stated that a regulation & tax model for marijuana makes more sense than complete prohibition. When considering legal substances like alcohol and tobacco, it's difficult to understand why cannabis with its medicinal properties remains illegal for adults to consume. Like all forms of prohibition, thousands of lives are changed irrevocably from legal convictions, while the there is no slow down in illegal sales and availability to anyone who wants to use marijuana anyway. Millions of dollars are spent enforcing these laws and those resources could be used in other areas of drug rehabilitation.
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