Captiol News from The Assembly Minority Conference
The Assembly Minority Conference

Statement from Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay on Legalization of Recreational Marijuana

“Many are going to celebrate the passage of the ‘Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.’ But we didn’t solve any problems today, we only created new ones.

The Majority Conference will claim victory, but they ignore the inherent dangers associated with their decision. Legalizing marijuana guarantees young people will have greater access to a drug they shouldn’t be anywhere near. The minute this becomes readily available, the safety risks in our communities and on our roadways will increase exponentially.

Forced COVID lockdowns drove New York to the edge of an economic cliff, and advocates for legalization seized the opportunity to push marijuana as a financial windfall. While this may eventually improve the state’s bottom line, it will come at the expense of public health and safety.

Over the past year, we have seen our friends, families and neighbors struggle in more ways than one: reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, fighting health issues associated with smoking and the ongoing battle of the opioid epidemic. This legislation is harmful and counterintuitive to combating addiction and decades-long anti-drug efforts.

Simply put, today’s vote to legalize marijuana was a step in the wrong direction.”