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Mixed feelings on legal marijuana

New Yorkers can now possess and use up

New Yorkers can now possess and use up to 3 ounces of cannabis under a legalization bill signed on March 31 by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Credit: AP/Hans Pennink

Once again, Albany’s elected officials found a way to create more concerns for New York State residents ["Cuomo signs bill to legalize recreational pot," News, April 1].

I was opposed to marijuana legalization based on public safety concerns of driving under the influence and the possibility of black-market distribution organizations. However, I knew that legalization would happen just for the financial gains.

Our revitalized walkable downtowns like Farmingdale, Bay Shore, Oyster Bay and Huntington, in my view, will reek of marijuana, causing discomfort for many of us who do not use the substance. It is now possible for disorderly individuals to stand in front of my home and smoke marijuana, and the police and I can’t do anything about it. As a guide, Albany could have used any number of states that already had legalized marijuana but do not allow public use.

However, like with bail reform, the Legislature has gone too far again, and we pay the price. And people wonder why many residents are moving out of the Empire State.

Kevin G. Collins, New Hyde Park

I wonder, yet again, when people are going to let go of the notion that marijuana is a "gateway drug" ["Make politicians pay for legalizing pot," Letters, April 2]. The only thing it’s a gateway to is the world of drug dealers, clandestine behavior and fear of the police. When pot is legal, I believe people will be less likely to use other drugs. One writer mentions Oxycodone. Clearly, the gateway to that drug is a physician.

Alcohol, to me, is much more dangerous than marijuana. There is no known lethal dose of marijuana, while it’s not hard to drink enough in one day to kill yourself. While I agree that nobody should drive while intoxicated, marijuana’s effect on reaction time is much less than the effect of alcohol. By these measures, we should make alcohol illegal.

I applaud our lawmakers for finally following the science instead of fear and bias.

Lenny Glassmann, Syosset

It never ceases to amaze me to see the Forrest Gump ideology working in politics: "Stupid is as stupid does." It’s not OK to drink and drive, but it is OK to fly high on weed and drive. It also appears that law enforcement agencies have given up on the 55 miles per hour speed limit. Politicians tout the benefits of marijuana, particularly monetary gain, but no one touts the disadvantages of it. I agree with the writer who said the politicians should be held accountable for their actions when they make such laws. We have become a surly, seemingly uncaring lot in this country — not everyone, but the greater majority. We had it and lost it. But I believe that humankind, at some point, will revive maybe by just being who we were at birth — innocent babes. We need each other to feel good naturally, not by using brain-altering, artificially induced feelings. Next election, vote for your well-being, not your pocketbook.

Roy Willis, Massapequa

If towns opt out of marijuana sales, will they opt out of liquor and tobacco sales? These substances are more dangerous and addictive than marijuana ["1 toke over the (town) line," Long Island, April 11]. Yet adults can buy them at nearly every corner store and bar.

Several other states have legalized marijuana sales, including our neighbors in Vermont and Massachusetts. They’ve managed, and I hope our local officials look to them for guidance.

Rebecca Melnitsky, Hicksville

The legal consumption of pot, in my view, is another example of a decrease in quality of life. Aroma from yards, extra police work and the danger of drivers who are slow to act or react are just a few problems. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s claim of "justice" is his version. The real reason, I believe, is tax revenue for a state in the red. Much of the new tax money goes to the general fund that the governor controls. Consumption sites? Sure. Right out there in public where all can watch. One of the governor’s reasons to go legal is that Massachusetts and New Jersey are doing it. So, if others are doing it, we should do it, too. Sometimes, logic is not the best response.

Tom Buonomo, Islip Terrace

Georgia law provides voters some options

Regarding Georgians not receiving water while waiting to vote, those working the polls can give water to those on line; political parties may not provide water ["Georgia law makes it harder to vote," Letters, April 16].

Each district can extend voting hours to 7 p.m. In addition, they have voting available on two Sundays, with the option of one or two Saturdays.

John Lynam, Bethpage