The perspective of those in control in New York and Michigan are on different paths this week. While the Health Department officials in NY embark on a trip that will include five public forums, allowing residents the opportunity to share their perspective on the legalization of recreational marijuana use, law enforcement in Michigan has shown their opinion is set on the matter.

Health Department officials in New York were in the Bronx on Sept. 17, listening to a majority of attendees share their support for legalization. Some concerns that were voiced at the forum included concerns on the wording of the potential legislation, while others did mention public health impact.

Numerous states around New York currently have legalized recreational use or have plans to do so in the future. This means a change in perspective for the state was logical, and Governor Andrew Cuomo announced support of marijuana legalization in January of this year for that reason.

Those involved in law enforcement in New York are worried about situations where police use the odour of marijuana to stop people or the use of marijuana against people who appear in family court, noting these issues must be addressed if legalization occurs in the state.

Meanwhile, Michigan law enforcement and prosecution personnel have not been shy sharing their opinions on the dangers of the legalization move. Concerns that have been bandied about recently include child welfare, the quality of the workplace, the healthcare system, and the state’s roadways.

Officials have quoted statistics from Colorado, including those that show homelessness and violent crime have both increased. Meanwhile, supporters of the legislation to legalize marijuana state that the statistics and vocal protest regarding the measure are simply fear tactics and an attempt to scare voters into changing their support.

One major sticking point is the ounce allowance currently planned, as those who are against the measure think that will be a big draw for marijuana users and the state could suffer.

Legislation supporters note that the debate is not open and honest, and the prevalent concerns are not backed up by facts or even specific complaints. However, the truth will come out once the vote results roll in.

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