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Election Momentum and Hurricane Sandy Damage Could Propel Medical Marijuana in NY

new york city

Activists in New York state are demonstrating that timing truly is everything.  New York residents have indicated that they support decriminalization measures. Reforming marijuana law also has the support of popular/powerful Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has informed New York legislators that they will receive no raise in pay until they fix the devastating “Stop and Frisk” laws.

There has already been considerable momentum across the country to drastically reform marijuana laws following huge victories in Michigan, Colorado, and Washington state.  Albany lawmakers stuck in the previous century have mocked such changes, but may finally see the light.  The entire 2012 election was an eye opener to those who have been unable to notice a changing electorate.  The new voting public no longer wants to waste their money on restricting civil rights and wasting money on the failed War on Drugs.  If New York lawmakers wish to avoid filing for unemployment, they too may want to take note of what direction the country is going.

Besides the election momentum, another high profile event may also force New York to consider cost savings measures.  Hurricane Sandy has devastated the New York City, Westchester, and Long Island areas.  Residents are still trying to recover and it will be along time before places like the Rockaways, Staten Island, Long Beach, Fire Island, or Red Hook will be back to normal.  Governor Cuomo has already requested $30 billion from the federal government, but that may not be enough to entirely rebuild the area.  New York Senator, Diane Savino, of Staten Island (one of the hardest hit areas in NYC) is pushing to make New York the 19th state to legalize medical marijuana.  The Senator recently told the NY Daily News that “There is a huge amount of revenue here.”  The Senator was referring to the many jobs and tax dollars that could be generated from medical marijuana in the Empire State.

They say it’s important to strike while the iron is hot.  There is no better example than New York as reforming marijuana laws are crucial to rebuilding the area.  The public wants change, and the finances need change.  New York is known for setting trends and it could impact the entire country if the state legalized medical marijuana.  The call for reform was growing before well before Sandy as New York has long had budget concerns.  No matter what happens New York will have to take extraordinary steps in order to balance their budget, it may be the perfect time for lawmakers to just listen to the people.

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