Briella TomassettiJan 17, 2018, 7:42 pmJan 21, 2018, 8:14 am

What would happen if New York legalized recreational marijuana?

Gov. Cuomo wants to fund a study to find out

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LEVITTOWN — Following an initiative that will soon legalize marijuana in Massachusetts and it's potential legalization in New Jersey, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he wants a study done on how legal pot would impact New York. In his budget address, he said that the study would review the health, economic, and crime impacts of legalizing marijuana.

Doug Greene, legislative director of the Empire State National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or “NORML,” says a 2017 poll shows that 62 percent of New Yorkers support the taxation and regulation of marijuana. Greene says legalization would raise a lot of money in state tax revenue and claims it would help battle the opioid epidemic as fewer people turn to deadly drugs. But those against legalization argue marijuana is a gateway drug and think it could be linked to an uptick in criminal activity, like driving under the influence.

Greene says it's too soon to know the details and terms of how much money would go into this study, but say meetings could begin as early as next week with Cuomo's fiscal office and the Department of Health.

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