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Should NYS legalize marijuana?

Posted at: 11/08/2012 10:40 PM
Updated at: 11/08/2012 11:53 PM
By: Lynette Adams

Two days after the election, there is still a lot of talk about the two states that have legalized marijuana. Voters in Colorado and the state of Washington said yes to the recreational use of the drug. Facebook and Twitter have been buzzing with the topic and now a member of the Rochester City Council says it's time to consider it here in New York.

This isn't the fire time this topic has come up in political circles. State Assemblyman Joe Morelle said there have been discussions about it in Albany, but none serious enough to make it to the floor of the legislature, but he says that could change this year. Meanwhile, one city councilmember says legalizing marijuana could be an answer where other efforts to stop the violence in Rochester have failed.

Rochester City Council Member Adam McFadden says a lot of money has been wasted on fighting illegal drug activity. He says it's time to try something new, like exploring the possibility of legalizing marijuana.

McFadden said, “We've wasted a lot of money chasing a false promise. We've told people we're going to war against drugs and we're getting our butts kicked now what.”

McFadden says legalizing marijuana would curb the street violence and would then be taxable. So what do local residents think. News10NBC found a mix of opinions.

Monica Swanson said, “My opinion is that I would not be in favor of such legislation.”

Rochester resident Monica Swanson teaches 9th through 12th graders in a rural school district. In theory she says legalizing marijuana may make sense, that is until you know someone personally affected by this drug.

Swanson said, “I've had students who have been in rehab and that have been arrested. I just think it leads to further issues.”

Anti-drug advocates say marijuana is more potent and more dangerous today than ever with higher concentrations of the chemical, THC. Marijuana can decrease motivation and ambition and in rare cases cause psychosis. Andrew James from Penfield says it's no different than alcohol.

Andrew Penfield said, “If we were to have that same person examine alcohol or cigarette we would see things that would be much worse than THC and those seem to be okay in our society. I imagine if marijuana turns into the same cash crop, I could imagine we won't have a problem with that either.”

But Chassity Dennis says alcohol is a good example why legalizing marijuana is wrong.

Dennis said, “There are huge impacts on things that you legalize that were known to be a no, no, like alcohol.”

What do you think? You can join the conversation on our Facebook page.