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Push to legalize marijuana in New York gets crucial support

A bill legalizing marijuana is gaining traction in Albany. Earlier this week Governor Andrew Cuomo said legalizing the drug for recreational use is the kind of thing that should be included in the budget.

Westchester County Sen. Peter Harckham announced he would support the legislation alongside the bill’s Senate sponsor, Manhattan Sen. Liz Krueger, as reported by NY State of Politics. In that report, Harckham pointed to changes he had sought with the measure, including spending for substance abuse programs as well as increased enforcement of DUI laws.

“The bottom line is this: I’m for the legalization of marijuana in the State of New York,” Harckham said at the time. “But it must be legalization specifically with improvements that guarantee the safety and well-being of our residents in regard to added spending on community policing of DUI and comprehensive education and communication efforts that point to the risks of marijuana use; and 25 percent of revenue, and not a dollar less, going toward treatment and safety net programs, including Substance Use Disorder and community mental health programs.”

Harckham’s support of any bill legalizing marijuana is viewed as important for the legislative chambers.

Polling earlier this week from Siena showed higher-than-ever support for legalizing marijuana.

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