Push for pot, now with lobbying muscle

medical marijuana signNoted: a Colorado-based marijuana company has hired influential lobbying firm Patricia Lynch Associates to push for marijuana legalization in New York State. [NYDN]

One of the main arguments being floated for pot legalization: tax revenue. State senator Diane Savino -- who's been pushing for medical marijuana since at least earlier this year -- told the NY Post earlier this month that licensing and taxing could generate close to $1 billion for the state. We'd be interested in the math behind that figure. We did some back-of-the-envelope estimating a few years back and figured the state could probably pull in at least $230 million. [WSJ] [NY Post]

Andrew Cuomo has publicly been less than enthusiastic about the idea. [State of Politics]

Voters in both Colorado and Washington State recently approved measures to legalize recreational use of pot. Estimates of the revenue potential from taxation in those states are in the $300-$400 million/year range. [CNN] [US News]

Eighteen states and DC now allow medical marijuana, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures -- even though it's still illegal under federal law. A Siena poll reported this past May that New Yorkers support legalizing medical marijuana 57-33.

Earlier on AOA: Pot prices around New York State (2011)

photo: Flickr user Caveman 92223

Comments

Well since NY's population is 3-4 times as big as either Colorado or Washington, it would seem likely you could do 3-4 times the business here.

And by some accounts marijuana is currently the biggest cash crop in NY, if not the second biggest. The business is already there, why not tax the hell out of it?

And stop paying all that money to lock up non violent smokers. This isn't only a way to generate revenue is a huge opportunity for savings.

And look at this. In 2010 there were 32000 deaths from prescription drugs. 0 from marijuana.

http://www.economicsjunkie.com/annual-drug-related-deaths-in-the-us-marijuana-ranks-last-with-zero/

"Andrew Cuomo has publicly been less than enthusiastic about the idea. [State of Politics]"

Of course Cuomo's less than enthusiastic -- there's no political upside to jumping on board at this time. Always the pragmatist.

Of course I want it to be legal, it would be far cheaper, and I wouldn't have to worry every time a helicopter flew near my house. But legal pot would take away a lot of the fun.

Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Albany's oldest buildings

Albany is an old place -- roughly 400 years old, depending on how you're counting. So it's going to have some old buildings. But how... (more)

"Man, @#$% Bon Jovi!"

There are a bunch of interesting threads that intersect in situation surround the impending sale of the Buffalo Bills: culture, identity, Buffalo's future, Andrew Cuomo.... (more)

Casinos 5 years from now? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

A Time Warner Cable News/Siena College Poll out this week asked people in the upstate regions being considered for casinos to predict five years from... (more)

Info sessions on new CDTA smart cards and mobile payments

Pay by mobile phone to ride the bus? CDTA isn't there, yet -- but it hopes to be by next year. This week the transit... (more)

Morning Blend

In Buffalo Monday, Andrew Cuomo pushed back -- he was "feisty and unrepentant", in the NYT's words -- on the accusations that his administration had... (more)

Recent Comments

I think part of the outrage is a manifestation of the guilt felt by the crowd that refuses to recognize any part of Troy that isn't glossy, groomed, or hipsterfied or threatens that image. I love Troy. I've invested in Troy. But I'm not blind that there is a caste system in Troy. ...

Greulich's Market checks out

...has 3 comments, most recently from Johnh

Architecture gawking in Albany's warehouse district

...has 2 comments, most recently from Andy

Info sessions on new CDTA smart cards and mobile payments

...has 1 comment, most recently from Paula

Reaction to the reaction

...has 3 comments, most recently from CAOD

Along the cheese trail

...has 1 comment, most recently from Ryan