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article imageNew York State considering legalizing recreational marijuana

By Ken Hanly     Jul 15, 2018 in Lifestyle
The state of New York is considering whether it should legalize recreational marijuana as a new report comes out in favor of such a move.
New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo requested the report back in January of 2018. The New York State Department of Health sent the "Regulated Marijuana Report" to the governor's office.
The study by New York State agencies and experts looked at peer-reviewed studies of marijuana, concerning public health, public safety and public budgets. The study also looked at how other states that have already legalized recreational marijuana have been doing.
The results just released provide a persuasive argument in favor of legalizing pot. The report says: “It has become less a question of whether to legalize but how to do so responsibly."
The Health Department claims in the report: “The positive effects of regulating an adult (21 and over) marijuana market in New York state outweigh the potential negative impacts.”
Marijuana popular in New York state
The report claims that one in ten New York state residents used marijuana in just the last month. Legalizing the drug could very well lead to gains in public health as regulating the sales would cut down on contaminants such as fungi, spores, mold, bacteria, heavy metals, pesticides and growth enhancers. The report claims that swapping out cannabis for pain relief with opioids would greatly reduce the chance of dependence and also eliminates the chance of a fatal overdose from the opioid-based medication.
Regulation could help reduce risks
The regulations would ban sales to anyone under 21, cracking down on the illegal market. The report suggests studying the effects of marijuana use on driving. Marijuana farms should be made secure.
The study claims: “The negative health consequences of marijuana have been found to be lower than those associated with alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs including heroin and cocaine.”
Legalizing marijuana will not create much more use
Some states that legalized marijuana did experience a spike in usage at first, but it quickly leveled out. Availability also makes it less likely that people will use dangerous synthetic marijuana that can cause seizures, and even death if mixed with the wrong drugs.
Fewer people will end up in jail with criminal records. Black people are four times as likely as white people to be arrested for possession.
The state would rake in tax revenue
The report estimates that each New York State resident buys between 6.6 and 10.2 ounces of marijuana per year illegally. If the cost is between $270 to $340 per ounce, that adds up to a $1.7 to $3.5 billion market. Between $173.3 to $542.3 million of this could end up as state revenue.
The report concludes: "Here’s the kicker that the report authors slipped in: if New York doesn’t legalize pot, but New Jersey does, all that dough will end up fueling New Jersey’s economy. What New Yorker would want that?"
Canada to legalize recreational marijuana.
On October 17, 2018 Canada will become the second nation in the world to legalize recreational marijuana. Uruguay was the first. It will become the first G7 and G20 to do so.
Although several U.S. states have made recreational marijuana legal and many have laws allowing medical marijuana, it is still regarded as a prohibited drug at the federal level.
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