Legalization Pitfalls

The Story

Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have embraced legalization of marijuana and the question will likely be addressed legislatively in 2019. The move has been presented as a boon for the state, with advocates promising enormous revenues from excise taxes. The mayor in particular talks about pot legalization as a way of making up for past injustices in the War on Drugs. While legalization appears virtually certain, New Yorkers shouldn’t rush into it naively; many unanswered questions demand discussion.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. On the job: Legalization has led to greater use by workers, and is connected with increased accidents and absenteeism. Read more.

  2. Mental Illness: There is “substantial evidence” of a link between marijuana use and the development of schizophrenia or other psychoses. Read more.

  3. Crime: Despite myths about mass incarceration of pot smokers, only one person is locked up for possession on Rikers Island on an average day. Read more.

"The number of drivers involved in fatal crashes in Colorado who tested positive for marijuana has risen sharply each year since 2013, more than doubling in that time."

Denver Post

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Don’t Legalize Drugs By Theodore Dalrymple (Spring 1997)

“Advocates have almost convinced Americans that legalization will remove most of the evil that drugs inflict on society. Don’t believe them.”

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“De Blasio spokesman Eric Phillips said: ‘Our police officers are heroes and the Mayor applauds the bravery and professionalism of this officer.'”