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Health Department Says "More Pros than Cons" for Regulated Marijuana Legalization

ELMIRA, N.Y. (18 NEWS) - Medical marijuana...legal here in New York State for patients with qualifying medical conditions only. But, a statement released Monday by the state's Health Department leads some to believe it's only a matter of time before recreational use of the drug is legalized too. 

"The fact that you've got a government agency saying there's more pros than cons and that, coupled with New York State's insatiable search for more revenue streams means that they're going to do anything they can to push it through and I think it's inevitable that it's going to happen in New York just because they can't turn away that cash cow," Adam Gee, an Attorney with Ziff Law said. 

New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker releasing the findings of a recent study he says shows the benefits of a regulated program, suggesting special consideration for things like the rate at which marijuana would be taxed, who can grow and distribute it, and age requirements. 

"It's going to be handled a lot like alcohol I believe. In liquor stores there are certain hours associated with it, it has to be a certain type of store, where as things like beer are more widely available you can get them in your grocery store, your convenience store, your local gas station...How are they going to regulate marijuana? And all that is up in the air. This is the first real proposition that we're being given to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes in New York so it'll be an interesting thing to keep an eye," Gee said. 


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