Suffolk legislator wants to ban recreational pot sales if legalized in NY

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HAUPPAUGE -

A Suffolk legislator is introducing a bill that would ban the sale of recreational marijuana in the county, even if it's legalized statewide.

Republican Legislator Robert Trotta's measure is in response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's push to legalize recreational use of the drug by adults.

Cuomo proposed taxing marijuana sales, which officials say could raise as much as $1.3 billion a year. But Trotta says marijuana is a gateway to other drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

If passed, Trotta's bill would allow the county to opt out of Cuomo's plan to permit the sale of recreational pot.

"We shouldn't be filling budget gaps by getting into the drug business," Trotta says.

Doug Greene, of Empire State NORML, says Trotta is wrong about the harmful effects of marijuana use.

"There is no gateway to other drugs," Greene says. "It's safer than alcohol and communities should welcome it."

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone's spokesman says he's still reviewing the bill and hasn't taken a position on it.

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