There are a lot of good reasons to believe that New York will join the stampede to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana that was started by the voters of Colorado and Washington last November.
Senator Liz Krueger has already announced that she’s working on legislation that would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana in New York. Such a move would render the debate over medical marijuana absolutely unnecessary, although legitimate patients should be exempt from any general tax on marijuana.
And, the people of the state are with Senator Krueger. More than half were found to support legalizing, taxing, and regulating in the wake of the Colorado and Washington victories for reform in 2012, according to a Quinnipiac College poll taken at the time.
New York’s politics defy simplistic categorization. It was four Republican Senators who pushed marriage equality past the finish line, and New York’s Senate is currently governed by a "power sharing" agreement between the GOP’s Dean Skelos and the Independent Democrats’ nominal leader, Jeff Klein.
Half the state lives in New York City, which has its own issues. It’s one of the bluest cities on the political map, and yet it hasn’t had a “party line” Democrat for a mayor since David Dinkins.
New York has been debating medical marijuana for 17 years, but it’s time to move on and address the bigger issue. Marijuana prohibition is a pointless exercise of power, a tremendous waste of time and energy, and absolutely useless in keeping teens from using marijuana. It causes far more problems than it solves, and it’s time for a radical new approach.
Stay with us as we work to end this madness.