Marijuana legalization debate rages as opt-out movement growsPosted: Updated:
As the debate over the legalization of recreational marijuana plays out among lawmakers in Albany, residents across the Hudson Valley are having the same conversation.
In January, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed a bill to legalize recreational use of marijuana, but left in it a loophole: Municipalities with populations of over 100,000 can opt out of growing and selling the substance in their community.
Many counties, including Rockland and Putnam, have already opted out. On Long Island, both Nassau and Suffolk counties have opted out, as well.
There is no word yet on what Westchester and Orange counties will decide. County Executive George Latimer has released a statement saying that he would rather wait to see what becomes of the law. The Orange County health commissioner tells News 12 the office is currently reviewing the matter.
Greenburgh Police Chief Christopher McNerney tells News 12 that legalizing the drug could have catastrophic consequences, while one marijuana advocate cautions that opting out would be a mistake.
The state legislative year ends in June.