Macro shot of a dired marijuana bud with crystalline structures

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New York State Health Department Says Yes To Legal Pot

July 13, 2018 - 11:27 am
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ALBANY (1010 WINS) -- New York State health officials are recommending legalizing marijuana.

A 74 page analysis released on Friday concludes that the benefits of legalization outweigh the potential risks.

"NYS would be one of the largest potential regulated marijuana markets in the United States. As such, there is potential for substantial tax revenue in NYS, which can be used to help support program initiatives in areas such as public health, education, transportation, research, law enforcement and workforce development. Tax revenues can also support community reinvestment in health care and employment." the report said.

The report suggests the state could raise nearly $700 million in tax revenue off the drug, and that legalization won't significantly increase rates of marijuana use by adults or teens.

The report also predicts that legalization could reduce opioid dependency while eliminating criminal penalties that disproportionately impact minorities.

"The over-prosecution of marijuana has significant negative economic, health, and safety impacts that have disproportionately affected low-income communities of color. Legalization of marijuana will address this important social justice issue," the report said.

Whether or not it happens will be up to lawmakers and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

In the past Cuomo has called pot a gateway drug, but that stance has softened after legalization supporters -- including primary opponent Cynthia Nixon -- began to apply pressure.