As Gov. Andrew Cuomo and some Democratic state lawmakers continue to beat the drum for the legalization and commercialization of recreational marijuana, a recent poll shows that voters on Long Island have reservations about the proposal.
A recent poll commissioned by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) in the six Long Island State Senate districts that are represented by Democrats (District Three and Districts Five through Nine) found that only 35% of respondents supported legalization and commercialization. Furthermore, when given a list of potential marijuana policies, 64.6% of respondents—including 60% of Democrats—chose an option other than legalization and commercialization.
Long Island voters are correct to be leery of allowing the marijuana industry to set up shop in New York. If Gov. Cuomo gets his way on this issue, New Yorkers can expect the following results:
- More motor vehicle accidents, emergency room visits, and traffic fatalities due to marijuana-impaired drivers;
- Lower-than-expected tax revenue from marijuana sales, coupled with increased state spending necessitated by the detrimental effects of pot legalization;
- An increased incidence of cannabis use disorder (also known as problematic marijuana use);
- Difficult challenges for employers that wish to maintain safe, drug-free workplaces;
- Limited options for municipalities that wish to stop pot shops from opening within their borders; and
- The potential for marijuana-related facilities to be opened less than one-quarter of a mile away from churches and schools.
Does any of this sound good to you? If not, please contact your state lawmakers today to state your opposition to the legalization and commercialization of recreational marijuana. Given Gov. Cuomo’s desire to include marijuana legalization in the state budget (which is due to be passed no later than March 31), it is important to speak out during the month of March. If you live in one of the six Senate districts on Long Island that are represented by Democrats, please make sure to mention the results of the SAM poll when e-mailing your elected officials. Those six Senate districts are:
- Senate District Three (Sen. Monica Martinez);
- Senate District Five (Sen. James Gaughran);
- Senate District Six (Sen. Kevin Thomas);
- Senate District Seven (Sen. Anna Kaplan);
- Senate District Eight (Sen. John Brooks); and
- Senate District Nine (Sen. Todd Kaminsky).