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Medical Marijuana Could Help NY State Pay Sandy Costs

The hundreds of millions that the state would take in from the legalization of medicinal marijuana would help pay for Sandy-related costs, but Gov. Cuomo remains hesitant.

Medical marijuana proponents say that licensing fees and taxes could generate hundreds of millions of dollars a year in new revenues for New York State, which is still reeling from Hurricane Sandy bills, according to the New York Daily News.

“There is a huge amount of revenue here,” state Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island, told the paper.

Earlier this month, top Albany lobbyists partnered with Big Marijuana to push for legalization in New York State, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo is still hesitant to back medicinal pot. 

Cuomo said earlier this year that he believes the risks for medicinal marijuana outweigh the benefits, though he also projected that the state’s budget deficit would grow by $1 billion because of Hurricane Sandy’s destruction.

For marijuana opponents, the issue is not money, however.

“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,” the state’s Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long told the Daily News.

But legalized medicinal marijuana is not only a revenue source, but a humane effort to help those suffering from pain caused by cancer and other illnesses, says Gabriel Sayegh, state director for the Drug Policy Alliance, adding that “the time for [legalization] has long passed." 

New York’s border states, like New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts, have already legalized medicinal marijuana use.

BRADY November 30, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Alcohol is legal and look at the problems it causes, legalizing marijuana (another substance which affects physically and mentally) would cause problems as well
Etan Ben-Ami, LCSW December 01, 2012 at 03:59 PM
We need true legalization, with government regulation of safety, quality and distribution: just like liquor. The current system of ineffective cannabis prohibition makes marijuana easier for teens to obtain than whiskey. No one is making a living selling booze to teens. Legalization and control would actually decrease problem cannabis use.
BRADY December 01, 2012 at 07:34 PM
WHISKEY!....... well i'll be ! y'all just done run me outta town ! no good temperance movement ! Etan Ben-Ami, LCSW i'ma here by callin you out! high noon in fronta the saloon, ya varmint
Etan Ben-Ami, LCSW December 16, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Brady, I'll be glad to join you for a drink or two one evening, after work, when I can enjoy myself and I don't need to keep a clear head for the rest of the night. I'm of age and I know how to drink responsibly. But please leave your "shooting iron" at home. Guns and booze together are a problem. The same is probably true for marijuana.
BRADY December 16, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Etan that would be great, except if you know how to drink responsibly why do you have to worry about keeping a clear head for the rest of the night ,and your right about guns and booze, they don't mix .and there is no probably, marijuana is just another body and mind altering substance

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