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Local Politicians Discuss Marijuana Legalization

"We need to listen to the voice of the people" - State Senator Kennedy

October 11, 2018 - 5:00 pm

BUFFALO (WBEN) - Yesterday, State Senator Tim Kennedy and Assemblywoman Monica Wallace spoke briefly regarding their thoughts on marijuana legalization. 

Both Kennedy and Wallace are Democrats, and while they seem to support legalization in some capacity, their enthusiasm for it appears to differ.

Kennedy says New York is behind the curb.

"We're falling behind on the economic benefits, we're falling behind on the criminal justice reforms, and New York State should be a leader in all of these things," said Kennedy.

However, Wallace approached the topic with a more conservative and reserved outlook.

"We're following very closely the comments that are being made across the state," Wallace said. "I think it's an issue that we need to not rush into. We need to look to see exactly what the vast majority of people in New York want."

But Kennedy says state citizens have shown overwhelming support for legalization, and that it's time to listen to them.

"Right now, across this state, there are public meetings that are being held. There was recently a public meeting here in Western New York, and the vast majority of individuals that showed up to that meeting were in favor of recreational cannabis use," he said.

While Wallace also believes that lawmakers should listen to the concerns of New York residents, she has some concerns and wants to make sure legalization is done correctly.

"No matter what, I think we need to tread carefully and make sure, if we do pass it, it is something that we pass in a very regulated way to make sure that we are not allowing kids, which I think is a big concern, to have access to this," she said.


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