As part of the rollout of his agenda for the year, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has renewed his call to commercialize marijuana.
Dr. Kevin Sabet, former senior drug policy advisor to the Obama Administration and president of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) and its NYS affiliate, SAM New York, released the following statement in response:
“Marijuana legalization is social injustice. In the midst of an unprecedented respiratory pandemic and overdose epidemic, it is a terrible idea to commercialize high potency, dangerous pot products. It is a risky proposition for New York, and it won’t make anyone other than a few investors rich.
“In all of the weed legal states, the grand talk of social justice and equity has gone up in smoke as wealthy, connected investors and multi-state operators have snatched up premium licenses while high prices continue to drive consumers to the illicit market. This is not the way forward for New York State.
“Furthermore, for all the talk about marijuana revenues being a boost to our budget situation, the very authors of the legalization bill here have thrown cold water on that by pointing out revenues wouldn’t be realized for years to come. Our leaders in Albany need to be laser-focused on addressing the fallout from the pandemic, not debating on how best to enrich Big Pot’s investors.
“We will continue to work with the New York PTA, Medical Society, and County Health Officials to stand for good policy and urge the legislature to reject legalization, as they have in previous years.
“We have won this fight before, and with the work of our coalition, we will win it again.”