State School Boards Association says pot legalization is not a quick fix

Mar 19, 2019

Not so fast on legalizing pot. That is the message coming from New York State's school boards. The state School Boards Association wants more study on the issue.

There may be more time for study, since legalization apparently can't be worked out soon enough to be in this year's state budget. The deadline for passage is scheduled for April 1, but there are an awful lot of unresolved issues. Revenue from legalizing pot was supposed to help make the spending plan work.

There is a lot of support for legalization, but there are issues and more issues. State School Boards Association Executive Director Tim Kremer said there needs to be more thought on the matter.

"We believe this is a much bigger public policy issue, that people like law enforcement and health care providers and educators and people from perhaps other social service agencies should have an opportunity to carefully weigh in on the impact of the legalization of marijuana," Kremer said.

There are concerns from a lot of different groups, many in law enforcement.

Credit Eileen Buckley / WBFO News File Photo

"This may be a way in which that the state can make ends meet because additional revenues would be forthcoming and we would appreciate that," Kremer said. "We would tell you that the health and wellbeing of our school age kids and all of the citizens of New York and making sure that we are not somehow selling that out for $300 million."

Kremer said the law is only supposed to apply to those 18 and over, but he said the reality is pot products are likely to slip down into younger people, that of the school population.

"It's not necessarily just a budget bill," he said. "This is something that we think needs to have a full airing so that there would be hearings about it, so that people could weigh in, talk about it from a medical standpoint, from a psychological standpoint, from a variety of different positions, law enforcement and such, where we could have a full airing of the legalization."