Opinion: Legalizing pot is about possible presidential run, says Rensselaer Falls man
Friday, January 4, 2019 - 5:46 am

Regarding Gov. Cuomo saying New York doesn't really have a choice but to legalize marijuana. I am appalled at his moral resignation and his decision to push for its legalization, “because everyone else is doing it.”

No parent would ever permit their child to engage in dangerous activity based on such a premise, yet here he is, employing the same juvenile rational.

Cuomo purpose is to win popularity among young voters to prepare a future run as a presidential candidate. That New York government will benefit from yet another sin tax is a big plus too. High taxes on alcohol, cigarettes, and perhaps soon marijuana are supposedly meant to discourage their purchase.

In reality, this is a regressive tax on low-income individuals addicted to these substances who will still spend their limited resources to get their daily fix. By this method the state coffers are filled while exploiting the poorest among us.

I do feel marijuana should be decriminalized, with penalties akin to those laws regarding the abuse of alcohol, but disagree with legalizing it as a commercial product whose health value in the public interest is controversial at best.

NY’s government daily public service announcements strive earnestly to educate and discourage youth and adult addiction to drugs and gambling — no doubt ironically funded by the sin tax on these addictive items.

Yet simultaneously it enables these destructive behaviors through its marketing the state lotto, and now seeks to do the same with marijuana. This begs the question, does Cuomo and our state government really have the best interests of its citizens at heart, or its own?

Ron Shirtz

Rensselaer Falls