Report from NY health officials calls for pot legalization

Henrietta Strickland
July 16, 2018

The report, commissioned by the governor and released Friday, concludes that "taxing and regulating marijuana far outweighs any potential negative consequences".

The state's health department filed emergency regulations that went into effect Thursday, adding opioid replacement as a qualifying condition for New York's Medical Marijuana program. It says it could also create over 200,000 new jobs, and bring $700 million in tax revenue to the state. "Areas that may be a cause for concern can be mitigated with regulation and proper use of public education that is tailored to address key populations", the report says in conclusion.

It will now be up to Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers to propose specific legalization proposals.

Cuomo has always been wary of marijuana legalization, calling it a "gateway drug" as recently as a year ago.

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In an effort to reduce opioid abuse in the state, NY is allowing the use of medical marijuana as a replacement for opioid.

State officials also cited a 2017 poll which reportedly found that 62 percent of NY voters support making marijuana legal for adults over 21.

Cynthia Nixon, Cuomo's primary opponent in the governor's race, who is challenging the governor from the left, is also a supporter of legalizing marijuana, saying the state's laws against the drug disproportionately harm people of color.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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