North country lawmakers criticize marijuana legalization law

Legal marijuana reaction

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Three north country lawmakers voted against the law that legalized marijuana in the state.

Sen. Joe Griffo says he is in favor of medical marijuana but does not support what was just passed.

In a statement he said, in part, “At a time when we are focused on fighting COVID-19, the legislative majorities and the governor have advanced a bill that is overly restrictive, complicated and confusing. Regrettably, many groups that had expressed an interest in this significant new law were not included or involved in final negotiations of this bill as was anticipated and indicated.”

Assemblyman Mark Walczyk joined Griffo in voting against the law, saying the negatives outweigh the positives.

“This isn’t going to help farms in any real way in New York state,” Walczyk said. “It’s not going to meet the revenue projections. It’s going to allow the black market to thrive. Big marijuana will run roughshod over the businesses in New York state and our economy is not going to improve as a result of this.”

Assemblyman Ken Blankenbush also voted against the bill. He says it’s a distraction from the COVID-19 pandemic and finalizing the state budget.

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