According to a report from the New York Post, marijuana lobbyists are planning to target New York next. Patricia Lynch Associates—a firm that represents Gaia, a Colorado-based pot manufacturer and seller—is reaching out to both Democrats and Republicans to build support for a bill legalizing medical marijuana in New York, a step that New York’s neighboring states of Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island have already taken.
Democratic state Sen. Diane Savino, a supporter of medical marijuana legislation, said it’s “inevitable” that New York legalize medical marijuana eventually: “We’re going to negotiate this bill with the wind at our backs. There’s tremendous support.” A poll last June found that 61 percent of New Yorkers supported legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. Gaia claims that introducing medical marijuana will create jobs and, according to Savino, generate $1 billion in government revenue.
However, New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan opposes the measure: “We are now coping with the epidemic of prescription-pill addiction and cannot afford another disaster caused by the highly abused ‘remedy’ pushed by Big Marijuana.” Gov. Andrew Cuomo has said that at this point, the risks of legalizing marijuana outweigh the benefits.
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