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Four state medical societies join to oppose recreational pot

In a letter issued Friday, the medical

 In a letter issued Friday, the medical societies of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware opposed legalization of recreational marijuana. Credit: AP/Seth Perlman

The medical societies of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Delaware Friday came together to oppose the legalization of recreational marijuana.

"We have serious concerns about the lack of scientific evidence that supports recreational marijuana use by adults and young adults," the presidents of the Medical Society of the State of New York, the Medical Society of New Jersey, Connecticut State Medical Society and the Medical Society of Delaware said in a letter. "More importantly, not enough research has been done to prove marijuana is safe."

There could be potentially harmful effects in teen usage and from impaired driving, they said.

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said earlier this week he was dropping his proposal to legalize marijuana from the proposed state budget.

Cuomo had estimated a marijuana tax could bring the state $300 million over three years. New York has a budget with a deficit of more than $3 billion. Cuomo said he was unable to reach an agreement with state lawmakers on legalization.

A poll released earlier this week by the Siena Research Institute found 53 percent of New York voters support legalizing marijuana, compared with 44 percent opposed.

Some key counties, including Nassau and Suffolk, have said they are prepared to take advantage of a local “opt-out” provision that could keep manufacturing and retail shops out. 

The New York medical society has been lobbying against legalization in Albany. 

A vote to legalize recreational marijuana in New Jersey could take place next week, although it's unclear if the measure will pass. In Connecticut, two general assembly committees were scheduled to hold public hearings in Hartford to debate pot legalization, according to the Hartford Courant.

— With The Associated Press and Yancey Roy

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