Assemblyman Andy Goodell is concerned with the recent legalization of marijuana in New York State saying it won’t eliminate the black market and will negatively impact youth. New York is the 16th state to legalize recreational marijuana.
The legislation is projected, when fully implemented, to bring in $350 million-dollars in tax revenue, of which around $100-million dollars will go to the cost of running the program and enforcement.
Goodell said the legislation will not eliminate the black market,
“It imposes huge taxes on the sale of legal marijuana which means that the illegal marijuana sales will have a huge cost advantage. Second, and this is most astounding aspect of it, rather than increase the penalties for illegal sales, since you can now go into the legal business, it did the exact opposite. It dramatically reduced the criminal penalties for illegal sales.”
Goodell said his other concern is that the legislation doesn’t protect youth including reducing criminal penalty of sales to youth,
“It provided an affirmative defense if the person selling to the young person is only 3 years older or less, well that’s where young people would buy the bulk of their illicit marijuana anyway. So, we virtually make it lawful for someone who is within 3 years older to sell to young people.”
Goodell said a third concern about the legalization is the impact on driving while under the influence,
“And the data from other states that have legalized recreational marijuana show a dramatic increase in the number of serious injuries or fatalities involving drivers who test positive for marijuana.”
While individuals, 21 years of age and older, may now legally carry up to 3-ounces of cannabis, the sale of marijuana will not be legal until April 2022. Local municipalities will have the option to pass laws banning dispensaries and consumption licenses.