State Dept. of Health report supports legalization of marijuana

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NYACK -

A new report from state health officials is recommending the legalization of marijuana.

Under a directive from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state Department of Health has been weighing the benefits and risks of legalizing marijuana since January. The results of that study supported a pro-legalization market.

Dr. Stephen Dahmer, the chief medical officer for Vireo Health, said legalization could potentially lower the rate of death caused by painkillers. He is one of only 10 organizations in the state licensed to grow and sell medical cannabis. 

“There's certainly an uphill battle for medical cannabis in general, but we certainly see a tremendous amount of momentum in just the last few years culminating in this report, and we are on the brink of this possibility,” said Dr. Dahmer.

The 75-page document released Friday notes that legalization would cause a reduction in opioid prescriptions and provide an added level of consumer protection and education.

Support for the legalization of marijuana extends far beyond the governor’s office. Many who spoke to News 12 in Nyack Friday supported the idea.

"Hopefully one day the world will see the positives of marijuana and stop looking at it as such a bad thing,” said Chris Hauser, of New City.

The study also found no correlation between crime rates and states that have legalized marijuana.

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