For a sad laugh, consider the lawmakers who gave New York its broken legal-marijuana market whining over the proliferation of illegal smoke shops in their nabes.
“What do we need to do? Because clearly whatever we did isn’t really working,” lamented state Sen. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan), a 20-year Albany vet and chief architect of the marijuana-legalization law, at a Monday hearing.
Whatever we did? Are you kidding, senator?
You legalized marijuana in 2021 with no guardrails to make it easy to close illegal shops, and with Rube Goldberg rules for (eventually) opening legal ones.
Her equally clueless Manhattan colleague Sen. Brad Hoylman-Sigal complained that the nearly dozen illegal marijuana shops in his district “undermines the legal market” and presents a public-health threat for young people.
And he’s supposed to be one of the smart ones.
“Maybe it does require legislative action as opposed to just regulatory action,” Krueger mused. Ya think?
Meanwhile, the state is losing millions in taxes not paid by the out-of-control black market nor by the still-struggling-to-launch legal shops.
Crime is soaring amidst the proliferation of bootleg storefronts and mobile dispensaries selling unregulated, untaxed and oft-unhealthy weed products — outlets often targeted by gun-toting thugs.
As the Good Book says, “You reap what you sow.”
Maybe next year (they don’t go back to work in Albany ’til then), Krueger, Hoylman-Sigal and other lawmakers will trouble themselves to fix the broken legal-weed market.
Or maybe they’ll stick to their perverse priorities and let it all go up in smoke.
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