When asked about the marijuana bill being debated in the Assembly Tuesday afternoon, Minority Leader Will Barclay told Capital Tonight he was only impressed by its size.
“The bill itself is a behemoth,” he said. “Our conference briefed it yesterday. It took us four hours to get through the bill and I can tell you, Susan, we have never briefed a bill that long.”
While many Democrats have lauded the bill’s commitment to helping communities of color previously targeted by marijuana crackdowns, Barclay and many members of the Republican conference are scratching their heads wondering why the bill needs to be passed at all.
“We might be open to decriminalizing marijuana,” Barclay said. “But why are we making it legal at this time? We already have problems with people smoking. We already have a drug and opioid problem in New York state. It just seems to me legalizing marijuana at this time is a step in the wrong direction.”
The “Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act” is set to pass both houses of the legislature.