A new report by "SAM", or, Smart Approach to Marijuana, outlines a grim picture of the projected cost of recreational marijuana legalization to law enforcement.
"We're looking at nearly $200 million New York Police agencies are going to need initially to start up. Like I said, here, specifically, me, I'm gonna need about a quarter of a million dollars to get started here, to get on the road to trying to keep up with this issue," said Oneida County Sheriff, Robert Maciol. "DRE (drug recognition expert) training, recertifications, dog training, equipment, it's new technology that has yet to be tested in court."
Maciol is concerned about where the money will come from.
"Am I going to be forced to make cuts somewhere else? Where do I make cuts?"
Proponents of legalization call the report, researched and generated by medical doctors, health professionals, teachers, drug treatement workers, prevention advocates, parents and other concerned citizens, is fiction.
"The very notion of cost increases assumes that this is something new. It's not. It's not. It's been around for thousands, or, hundreds of years," says legalization activist, Gary Colmey, of Legalize it! CNY. "As far as training dogs, I guess that's part of evolution; that's part of the price we pay for making something illegal that never should have been illegal in the first place. So how about we train our dogs for this millenium?"
We won't know if the state legislature will vote on legalization until or unless they do, toward the end of session, late next week.
"Up until the moment that the signature is put on the bill, I'm gonna fight this with everything I've got," said Sheriff Maciol.