Cuomo and marijuana

Can the Governor’s proposal to legalize recreational marijuana pay for itself without increasing THC use? I don’t see how.

New personnel expenses for salaries, benefits and training will emerge for a new state bureaucracy of inspections, regulations, law enforcement and licensing. I’m not familiar with costs of growing weed in one’s backyard, or of those incurred by cartels moving it to market, but I’m fairly certain they don’t include NYS regulation. So why would existing users pay much more than they’re paying now? Should we expect a surge of interest in package labeling?

If the governor’s plan is conditioned, as it appears to be, not only upon growing marijuana but also its number of users, he should say so. And if his program isn’t likely to pay for itself, he should say who will—though I think we can guess. Most importantly, what public safety provisions could be compromised in the process?

Targeting people of color with marijuana laws, or any law, is a disgrace. However, addressing it doesn’t require legalizing recreational pot.

Dave Colavito

Rock Hill, NY

 

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