Nassau report doubles down on opting out of legal pot sales

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FARMINGDALE -

For the second time in two weeks, Nassau Executive Laura Curran on Monday called on lawmakers to opt out of potential state legislation that would legalize the sale of recreational marijuana.

The county's Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation released a 100-plus-page report Monday, outlining a series of public safety and health concerns."There are concerning trends in states that have legalized marijuana sales," Curran says. "I'm talking about increases in traffic fatalities, in young people getting hooked on high-concentrate vape pens, and in people, especially our young people, not taking seriously the consequences of driving while high."

The task force is comprised of experts in various fields, including Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. The report cites crime statistics in Colorado that show that since the state legalized recreational marijuana in 2013, there's been a more than 8 percent increase in property crime. Violent crime is up nearly 19 percent, and the murder rate has jumped 23 percent.

During Monday's news conference, Nassau Legislator Josh Lafazan announced he has already filed legislation that would opt the county out of the legalization of marijuana, but it does not include possession. Critics say all that means is that Nassau could miss out on all of the revenue that comes with it.

Curran clarifies that while the drug would still be legal in Nassau if statewide legislation is passed, the county would opt out of selling it.

Farmingdale business owner Christina Bisbee says any kind of opt-out is a mistake. She calls its use a "huge" health benefit for people.

State lawmakers are still debating whether to legalize recreational marijuana during the current legislative session.

Read more:
Nassau, Suffolk county executives plan to opt out if New York legalizes pot
Curran touts accomplishments, says no legal pot sales in State of the County
Nassau creates task force to prepare for possibility of legal pot

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