CORTLANDT, N.Y. – Assembly member Sandy Galef (D-Ossining) says a statement that her "top advocacy issue this year is legalizing marijuana," made by Republican challenger Kim Izzarelli, is a misrepresentation.
Galef is co-sponsor of a bill with more than four dozen other Assembly members to legalize possession of 2.5 ounces of marijuana prescribed by "a designated caregiver for a certified medical use," according to the language in bill number A7347.
"I have never supported the general legalization of marijuana," Galef said in a statement. In the same statement, she listed several legislative priorities, with lowering constituents' tax burden as No. 1. New boating safety legislation also made the list.
Although the medical marijuana bill passed the Assembly in June, most considered the move symbolic, as it has since been stalled in the state Senate. A Siena Research Institute poll released in May found that 57 percent of New York voters support the legalization of medical marijuana.
A press release issued by Izzarelli's campaign office said communities in the newly redrawn 95th Assembly District are "facing a sharp rise in controlled substance abuse." Izzarelli cited a comment by Peekskill police Lt. Eric Johansen that the city police have made 60 arrests in 2012 for sale or possession of a controlled substance, versus five such arrests five years ago.
"I don't think that there's an increase in drug abuse," Johansen said Wednesday. "I do think the choice of drugs has shifted" to prescription pain killers.
In her press release, Izzarelli asked, “If we can't control one controlled substance, why are we introducing another?”
The campaign of Izzarelli, a Briarcliff Manor resident, describes her as "a mom and a financial consultant who has examined $3.5 billion pension funds. Kim will make the tough decisions our kids are counting on."