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March 28, 2019 / Brooklyn news / Marine Park / Leaves of Grass

Weed it and weep: Local leaders blast marijuana legalization efforts

Not so high opinion: Assemblywoman Jaime Williams (D–Marine Park) called recreational marijuana “a known vice” at a recent rally against legalizing the tax and sale of the drug.
Brooklyn Paper
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They’re not high on the idea.

Marine Park civic leaders blasted state officials’ push to legalize and tax the sale of recreational marijuana, which would bring in revenue at the expense of citizens’ well being, said one local pol at a rally on March 23.

“While the need for revenue is obvious for our state, it can never come at the expense of our citizens and constituency, and certainly not through the use of a known vice and narcotics,” said Assemblywoman Jaime Williams (D–Marine Park).

Williams hosted the rally outside of her district office at 5318 Avenue N along with state Sen. Roxanne Persaud and Marine Park Civic Association President Robert Tracey.

The anti-weed rally comes after talks in Albany have stalled over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s push to include legalization in the state budget, which is due April 1.

In recent years, New Yorkers have seen an increase in backing for loosening pot laws, as 65 percent of state residents and 69 percent of city dwellers support decriminalization efforts, according to a recent Quinnipiac poll.

Williams has been supportive of those measures, including voting for a 2017 bill to seal conviction records for low-level marijuana offenses.

But Williams has stopped short of full legalization, which is supported by 62 percent of city residents, suggesting a link between the drug and mental health issues.

“Although the use of marijuana may not have had deaths occurring from it, there have been several studies that have linked marijuana as to long term effects and possible adverse changes to the brain, and an increased risk of psychiatric disorders,” she said during a March 13 speech on the assembly floor.

Her fears about the sticky-green substance are overblown, according to the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit aimed at reforming drug laws.

“There is no compelling evidence that marijuana causes some psychiatric disorders in otherwise healthy individuals,” says the group. “Most tellingly, rates of schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses have remained flat even during periods of time when marijuana use rates have increased.”

State lawmakers will continue to debate the governor’s legalization scheme as part of the annual budget until the April 1 deadline. If the measure fails to gain enough support, they could continue to debate the matter as a standalone issue through the legislative session ending in June.

Cuomo estimated in his January State of the State address that legal weed-related revenue would secure the state $300 million a year, which Williams dismissed as a rotten bargain.

“This is a prime example of a slippery slope measure,” she said. “Yes, it could bring revenue to this state, and yes it does have pain relieving effects. But, is this all at the expense of our children?”

Reach reporter Aidan Graham at agraham@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–4577.
Updated 10:52 am, March 28, 2019
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Reasonable discourse

Charles from Bklyn says:
Nice to see hypocritical politicans take blood money from liquor taxes, the most dangerous drug next to opioids, but support the historically racist probition of marajuana. Remove these fools.
March 28, 10:34 am
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Even Democrats have realized that legalizing marijuana would unleash a wave of crime that would make the 1980’s pale in comparison. Lock up the druggies before you find them robbing your house for dope money.
March 28, 10:37 am
Charles from Bklyn says:
Henry Ford. Punishing "druggies" for their drug abuse problems would be like punishing fools like yourself for your lack of understanding and compasion. It deflects from personal failings as people, but it wouldnt solve the problem. May God save your soul, though we can assume you are on his/her —— list.
March 28, 10:50 am
Cheech from Malibu says:
Jaime Williams is a disingenuous idiot. Your photo looks like a cannoli.
March 28, 1:13 pm
Susan from Sheepshead Bay says:
I do not agree with recreational weed ....I cannot enjoy my own apartment without getting the smell of weed in my home, cannot go into the hall without getting a contact high....medical weed fine ....you are going to see more reckless drivers who will be stoned doing and smoking weed...bad idea..find another way to get revenue..an old Hippie and still one in my heart
March 28, 1:41 pm
Susan from Sheepshead Bay says:
meant to say driving
March 28, 1:42 pm
Henry Ford from Bay Ridge says:
Nobody ever died from marijuana, but lets make it illegal anyway. Cigarettes and alcohol kills millions, but that's okay. Assemblywoman Jaime Williams acts like she's a republican. What a bizarre country we live in.
March 28, 2:25 pm
Harry J. Anslinger from the old days says:
"Most marijuana smokers are colored people, jazz musicians, and entertainers. Their satanic music is driven by marijuana, and marijuana smoking by white women makes them want to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and others. It is a drug that causes insanity, criminality, and death — the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind."
March 29, 10:32 am
Charles from Bklyn says:
I recently posted to this article but now my comments are gone. What is going on here? It's an anti-pot conspiracy ... or a computer issue. These politicans are willing to spend blood money from liquor and cigarette taxes, which kill more people in one year than marajuana has in a five centuries. The irony is marajuana prohibition is a legacy of this country's racist past against black Americans. Know your history, and stop telling people what to do.
March 30, 9:45 am
K. from ArKady says:
Same here. I also tried to post some historical material for Ms. Williams to consider: it was deemed too offensive to be here. I agree of course. The racist history of cannabis prohibition is a horrible thing to consider. Yet these were the original arguments for prohibition. Hey Brooklyn Paper, can I post more of those arguments, or will they be deleted as well? Some guidelines here would be helpful. Yes, it is offensive material. The subject matter is offensive. We can't have a discussion without addressing this.
March 30, 11:07 am

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