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Bill modifications won’t even reduce opposition to marijuana legalization in New York

Smart Approaches To Marijuana, a group that has been vocally opposed to efforts legalizing cannabis in New York, criticized a re-written bill in the Legislature, saying the measure doesn’t change their concerns about the drug.

Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes on Tuesday told reporters the new bill is largely what Gov. Andrew Cuomo had sought earlier this year. It includes the creation of an Office of Cannabis Management to oversee retail marijuana sales as well as medically based marijuana and hemp production.

The bill would use revenue generated from marijuana sales to be put toward communities affected by drug laws, aid law enforcement in public safety efforts and fund drug use research.

But Smart Approaches To Marijuana CEO Kevin Sabet said the new bill doesn’t address his structural problems with legalization.

“Writing new regulations won’t change the fact that the pot industry will target, exploit and victimize low-income and minority communities here as it has done in other states,” Sabet said.

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