With both Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio proudly celebrating epiphanies on the social benefits of marijuana, it would appear that legalization is inevitable.
But what if they are wrong? Many law enforcement and healthcare professionals who deal with addiction say they are.
The New York State Association of County Health Officials is opposed, reiterating that marijuana is a gateway drug with narrow medical benefits. They conclude it will cause more social harm than good.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown remains an opponent, pointing out that there is no effective way of identifying impaired marijuana drivers.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill is concerned about the danger to New Yorkers if they are allowed to grow their own pot, a provision in Colorado’s statute that has created a flourishing black-market in bootleg marijuana. Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton says it will open a Pandora’s box of issues.
Is the public intentionally being left in the dark about marijuana? Are we told, for example, that today’s pot is no longer that “counterculture mellowing-out indulgence” of the 70’s, and that it is actually10 to 20 times stronger than it was at Woodstock? That’s a wallop.
Is the public told that THC, the intoxicant in cannabis, causes paranoia? Are we told that today’s high THC levels can trigger violent episodes in people with psychotic disorders
As DA Brown says, “let’s have a vigorous debate”; but that’s not the Cuomo style.
Are we being told the truth? Not always. Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey, who would like to see federal legalization, claims that it has reduced violence in the four states that have legalized it.
New York Times reporter Alex Berenson, author of “Tell Your Children”, a book every parent and grandparent needs to read, says Booker is wrong. He points out that the four states (Colorado, Wisconsin, Alaska and Oregon) are reporting an increase in murders and aggravated assaults.
Despite troubling ramifications reported from California and Colorado, our progressive politicos are rolling out the heavy equipment, i.e. Assembly and Senate majorities, to pave yet another road with good intentions.
Mayor de Blasio is talking about unleashing yet another Progressive Social Experiment in the very communities that can least afford one.
The Queens County Conservative Party believes that once uncorked, Albany will have little incentive to put a powerful genie back in its bottle.
Tom Long is chairman of the Queens County Conservative Party.