Experts say New York’s marijuana decriminalization “falls short”


Gary Colmey, 65, saw three probation officers walk into his Rome store, Gary’s Music. They weren’t there to buy a musical instrument.

In the back of his music store, Colmey runs a separate business called Gary’s Indoor Garden Supply. The supply store sells “absolutely legal cannabis,” or CBD, a product that does not get the user high and only relieves pain, he said.

Colmey wasn’t nervous when the officers walked in. Two of them were regulars: one bought product for his 95-year-old father and the other bought products for himself.

“(Cannabis) is how people get help,” Colmey said. “In my circle, they’re looking for medical and wellness reasons. We stopped calling it ‘getting high’ 20 years ago. We’re trying to get a good night’s sleep.”

In June, New York state further decriminalized marijuana by increasing the amount a person can possess without criminal penalties from one ounce to two ounces. The new law includes automatic removal of records for people who have been charged with low-level marijuana possession.

Colmey, a self-described “cannabis activist” who runs the Facebook page Legalize It! CNY, said the bill doesn’t change much. Marijuana possession has been decriminalized in New York state since 1977. [Read more at The Daily Orange]


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