State debates legalizing marijuana
State lawmakers have started debating the controversial issue of legalizing recreational marijuana.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo backs the proposal, which is estimated to raise $300 million in tax revenue for the state and offset losses caused by the COVID pandemic.
But opponents, including those from the drug addiction field, have serious concerns. "It seems like a green light for self-medication. That, and the legalized gambling, these are life-destroying illnesses that destroy not only the individual's physical, psychological, economic and social well-being, but that of his family's," says Steve Chasman, a drug dependence expert.
Under the proposal, the minimum legal age to buy marijuana would be 21. The state would also help entrepreneurs in minority areas get licenses for the production and marketing of recreational marijuana.