Legis. Robert Trotta, shown in  Hauppauge on May 30, 2018,...

Legis. Robert Trotta, shown in  Hauppauge on May 30, 2018, is expected to announce the proposal Thursday. Credit: Newsday/John Paraskevas

Suffolk Legis. Robert Trotta, a retired police detective, has filed a county bill to opt out of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s plan to legalize recreational marijuana, calling it  a “step in the wrong direction.”

“It used to be that organized crime controlled gambling and drugs and now it's government who wants to use it as a revenue source and that is just wrong,” the Fort Salonga Republican said.

Trotta, who is weighing a race for county executive, is expected to announce his proposal at a news conference in Hauppauge Thursday.

If adopted by the legislature, Trotta’s proposal would mean Suffolk, the second populous county outside New York City with 1.4 million residents, would opt out of Cuomo's plan to permit the sale of recreational marijuana.

The North Hempstead Town Board on Jan. 8 banned retail sales of recreational marijuana. However, it is unclear whether Cuomo’s proposal, which would permit counties and cities with populations of more than 100,000 to opt out, would apply to the town.

Trotta, who served as a Suffolk County police officer for 25 years, called marijuana a “gateway” to other drugs such as heroin and cocaine.

"I don’t view the sale of marijuana as a viable source of revenue," he said. "The health and well-being of our residents are far more important than plugging holes in our bloated budget.”

Jason Elan, a spokesman for the Democratic county executive, said Steve Bellone was reviewing Trotta’s bill and Cuomo’s budget proposal but has taken no position on either one. 

Trotta has two other GOP county lawmakers, Leslie Kennedy of Nesconset and Kevin McCaffrey of Lindenhurst, as co-sponors.

Legis. Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore), leader of the seven-member minority caucus, said Trotta asked for the group's support. Cilmi said he and several other members are reviewing the issue.

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