Sen. Griffo invites local leaders, law enforcement to weigh in on pot legalization

Senator Joe Griffo met with local law enforcement, legal and medical representatives, advocates and other professionals to talk about the impact of legalizing recreational marijuana in New York.

Posted: Jan 25, 2019 11:26 PM

ROME, N.Y. -- Senator Joe Griffo met with local law enforcement, legal and medical representatives, advocates and other professionals to talk about the impact of legalizing recreational marijuana in New York.  

The roundtable discussion's purpose was to discuss the pros and cons of introducing such legislation to the state, and what it will mean locally. 

"Both leaders of the legislature majority's have indicated their support so I invision that this will move forward," said Senator Griffo. He added that now is the time to start asking questions. "This is an opportunity for me to talk to a number of people who I respect in different segments of our community."

Some of the concerns raised were effects it has on young children. Pot supporters said adults need to take care of it properly. "Certainly the responsibility of those responsible adults who do buy it legally need to keep it out of the hands of their children as with their other prescription drugs and alcohol," said Gary Colmey with Legalize it! CNY.

There are also concerns among law enforcement on how to enforce this on the roads. Sheriff Rob Maciol said there isn't technology out right now to test it.

Several other questions and points were made throughout the meeting, and Griffo says he intends on bringing these concerns to Albany.

“The governor has proposed legalization in his executive budget and both leaders of the majorities in the state Legislature have signalized their support, so I believe that the legalization of marijuana will move forward,” Griffo said in a statement. “Knowing this, it is imperative and important that implementation of this initiative is done properly. There were a number of good questions raised during today’s discussion. We will now seek out answers to those questions to make sure that we have all of the information available regarding this proposal.”

Griffo is also planning on reaching out to the public for their input on the matter.

Those who attended Friday's meeting were: 

•Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol
•Capt. Ed Stevens, chair of the Oneida County Law Enforcement Coalition
•Attorney Mark Wolber
•Attorney Richard Pertz
•Oneida County Director of Health Phyllis D. Ellis
•Insight House President Donna Vitagliano
•Gary Colmey with Legalize It! CNY

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