Monroe County leaders met earlier this week to discuss how legalizing marijuana could impact Rochester and surrounding areas.
We got a chance to ask County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo about what considerations were being made and what concerns the county had about possible legalization.
This is a process that’s happening in counties all over the state. Under Governor Cuomo’s plan, counties and large cities would still be able to opt out if they so choose.
Dinolfo says Monroe County’s main priority is examining the impact on public health and safety. Under the proposal, no one under the age of 21 would be allowed to buy marijuana and sales of marijuana would be taxed.
The City of Rochester has already indicated it supports the legalization of marijuana, but Monroe County leaders are not so sure.
“We’re looking at a number of aspects, from a standpoint of where would marijuana be grown, will it be grown, where would it be dispensed. From that to real impact, you know, we’re fighting an opioid crisis throughout the country.”
The response from law enforcement is mixed. Some police agencies are worried about the impact on traffic safety and more. The county is also getting input from the health department.
Gov. Cuomo wants to pass the legislation before the state budget deadline on April 1. If it becomes law, New York would be the 11th state to legalize marijuana.