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.

What's All Over Albany?

All Over Albany is for interested and interesting people in New York's Capital Region. In other words, it's for you. It's kind of like having a smart, savvy friend who can help you find out what's up. Oh, and our friends call us AOA.

Search

Recently on All Over Albany

The week ahead

Here are a few things to keep in mind, look forward to, or keep busy with this week, from the weather (WTF), from Presidents Day,... (more)

Gawking at the ceiling of the Smith Building

As we've noted before, the Smith Building stands across from the Capitol all buttoned up and dressed for work its quietly tasteful way for work.... (more)

Big downtown residential project approved (again), street ownership intrigue, and other exciting tales of the Albany Planning Board

Exciting Tales of the Albany Planning Board is a program recorded before a live studio audience once a month in which the fates of multi-million... (more)

Moose spotting

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is doing another aerial survey of the moose population in the Adirondack Park. And, of course, there are... (more)

Morning Blend

Jay Street fire inspection trial Thursday included testimony from former residents of the 104 Jay St apartment building, one who told the court upkeep of... (more)

Recent Comments

The current property has been for sale for nearly 15 years. The owners are getting out of the Bowling business, it's happened all over the region. There's a buyer, and the city must evaluate the opportunity cost doing nothing. ...

Big downtown residential project approved (again), street ownership intrigue, and other exciting tales of the Albany Planning Board

...has 3 comments, most recently from Ian Benjamin

No one asked, but...

...has 10 comments, most recently from Taylor

Gawking at the ceiling of the Smith Building

...has 2 comments, most recently from Dave

Moose spotting

...has 1 comment, most recently from mg

The Al Tech Steel factory

...has 11 comments, most recently from john gernon