NY state mayors in Albany for marijuana legalization summit

February 28, 2019 01:15 PM

ALBANY - The Legalization of Cannabis Summit in Albany on Wednesday hosted by the New York Conference of Mayors was an opportunity to highlight high times ahead in the Empire State.

When pot sales become legal on the streets of Albany, Mayor Kathy Sheehan says her main concern is what could happen if prices aren't regulated effectively.


"We don't want legislation that still encourages an illicit market," she said. "If you have pricing too high or barriers too high [that could prevent] people to get into the legal market, into the legal, regulated market."

Many people who smoke pot will inevitably wind up behind the wheel of a car. Bethlehem Police Commander Adam Hornick says his officers will need additional training for the additional number of stoned motorists.

"There could be a lot of people driving impaired now," Hornick said. "We just don't have the training to always recognize that and that's making our highways unsafe."

After prosecuting drug crimes for nearly two decades, Albany County District Attorney David Soares wants to be certain people aren't punished for sins of the past, which to him means sealing or expunging criminal records.

"If you're not having those discussions, then you're tipping the scales of where this industry is going to go," he said. "Shutting out those people that have been held accountable for participating in the same industry historically."

Soares says he's also concerned that if wrongly priced marijuana is driven from the marketplace, it could be replaced by something else, fentanyl, for example.

He's also concerned about keeping it out of the hands of children.

According to the state Office of the Budget, they're expecting $184 million in added revenue within four years.


WNYT Staff

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