Nassau, Suffolk county executives plan to opt out if New York legalizes pot

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WOODBURY -

Both county executives of Nassau and Suffolk say they will consider opting out of marijuana sales if the state legalizes the drug's recreational use among adults.

Ten states, plus the District of Columbia, have legalized recreational marijuana. New York state could soon be next, but Nassau and Suffolk's county executives say they'll be encouraging their local lawmakers to opt out of the program if and when it's approved.

Nassau Executive Laura Curran brought up her opposition to legal pot sales during her State of the County address Tuesday night. She says she doesn't believe it's the right time to sell the drug in Nassau.

Suffolk Executive Steve Bellone is now also saying he thinks his county should also opt out, although he plans to revisit the issue in a year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo had originally said he wanted to include legalization in the state budget due April 1, but he now says that timeframe is unrealistic. Legislation is still being drafted, and he says local governments should have the final say.

The Medical Society of the State of New York applauded the opt-out decision. It is encouraging other county executives across the state to consider similar opt outs if the state does legalize recreational marijuana.

Read more:
Curran touts accomplishments, says no legal pot sales in State of the County
Advocates, critics of legal pot attend Nassau hearing
Suffolk legislator wants to ban recreational pot sales if legalized in NY
Cuomo covers legal pot, school aid, MTA fixes in State of State address

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