Marijuana legalization debate rages as opt-out movement grows

Posted: Updated:
YONKERS -

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.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."