Siena Research Institute released a poll last week showing 57 percent of New York voters support legalizing medical marijuana. While most Democrats — 62 percent — said they support legalization, Republicans were divided. Forty-four percent of GOP voters believe "MedMar" should be legalized, while 46 percent oppose legalization.
One Republican who is opposed to legalizing medical marijuana is Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb. In an interview Friday, Kolb explained why he isn't supportive of allowing medical marijuana in New York.
"At the current time, I'm not in favor of it. In this particular case, if you look at marijuana for a medical use, then I think the (Food and Drug Administration) is the one that should monitor it and approve it just like we have any other drug dispensed to the public. I don't think marijuana should be any different than that," he said.
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Kolb added: "Right now, marijuana is not a legal substance. I still believe if we're going to use it for medical purposes, then the FDA should be administering those protocols and how it's to be dispensed before we do anything on a state-by-state basis. It's better regulated and evaluated at the federal level. I just don't think states should be coming up with their own policies."
Another concern for Kolb is what illnesses would allow patients to obtain medical marijuana. He believes that medical marijuana should be reserved for the "severest cases" so that "bogus illnesses are not raised in an attempt to buy and use marijuana."
The other part of my interview with Kolb focused on the proposal to move the state's primary from Tuesday, Sept. 11 to Thursday, Sept. 13. Kolb's views on the proposal were included in my column Sunday. Read it here.