Legalizing marijuana in New York recommended by health commissioner

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ALBANY – A much-anticipated study on recreational marijuana will recommend legalizing the drug in New York, the state’s top health regulator said Monday.

Howard Zucker, New York’s health commissioner, told reporters in Brooklyn that the Department of Health’s ongoing study on marijuana in New York is nearly finished and has concluded the state should move ahead with legalizing and regulating the drug.

The study will soon be finalized and delivered to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who ordered the study in January after neighboring states Massachusetts and Vermont took action to allow marijuana for recreational purposes.

“We looked at the pros, we looked at the cons,” Zucker said.

“And when we were done, we realized that the pros outweigh the cons and the report recommends that a regulated, legal marijuana program be available to adults in the state of New York.”

Zucker said the study, which was performed by the Department of Health, looked at a variety of issues surrounding marijuana legalization, including where it would be grown, how it would be distributed and how much it should be taxed.

He did not give a timetable for the study’s release, other than to say it would be completed “soon.”

By: Jon Campbell, PoughKeepSie Journal

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