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News of Otsego County

marijuana regulation and taxation act

Views Around New York: May 6, 2021

Views from Around the State

Legislate marijuana, but don’t
opt out on revenue source

From: The Adirondack Daily Enterprise:

For local town and village officials wringing their hands, trying to decide whether to opt out of issuing licenses for marijuana sales and on-site consumption in their municipalities, we have three words: Take the money.

It’s not dirty money. As of March 31, recreational marijuana is now legal in New York state for people 21 years or older, just like alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, which are sold in a variety of locations throughout our communities.

There will be a 13% tax on sales of marijuana products — giving a 3% cut to municipalities and 1% to counties. That money could be useful when times are tough. And let’s face it, when it comes to funding local government, times are always tough.

… In January 2014, Colorado became the first state to sell recreational marijuana products, with total sales to date of $10,333,435,545, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue. The total tax revenue collected in Colorado since 2014 was $1,698,853,703.

Let’s look at the decision facing town and village officials. They may believe it’s a moral choice, but we think it’s really a business decision.

BARCLAY: Celebrate Pot Legalization Now, Rue It Later
LETTER from DOUGH BARCLAY

Celebrate Pot Legalization

Now, Rue It Later

Though the Governor has already signed this legislation into law, I wanted to share my statement from earlier this week on the decision to legalize 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.

Democrats 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.

Doug Barclay,
R-Syracuse, is Assembly minority leader.

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