The New York State Association of Counties says legalizing marijuana would put a strain on resources for counties across New York.
In a statement sent out Tuesday, the association, which represents leaders for counties across the state, says legalization would have a great impact on services and programs provided by its municipalities.
Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo serves on the board of directors for the Association of Counties. John Marren from Ontario County and Charles Nesbitt, Jr. from Orleans County both serve as officers, with Nesbitt acting as president.
In a statement, Nesbitt explains, “If the state moves forward with legalization, it will be county governments that pay for the impact on social services, mental health departments, public safety, addiction services, public health education, traffic safety enforcement, and other local programs that have been proven to reduce the adverse effects of other legal psychoactive substances. In every region of the state, these programs and services are provided by counties.”
The association says, unless the state is willing to bolster resources for counties, it should table legalization.
Monday, Governor Cuomo said it’s unlikely that marijuana legalization will be included in the state budget, which is due by the end of the month. He says lawmakers are working to fine-tune the legislation and believes it will eventually get through the legislature.
Even if it’s not in the budget, lawmakers could still pass legalization as a separate bill.