BUFFALO, N.Y. — A national non-profit that is against New York's attempt to legalize marijuana is traveling the state to argue why marijuana should not be legalized.
Leaders with the Washington, D.C.-based Smart Approaches to Marijuana met with elected officials across the state and the Erie County Council for the Prevention of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Wednesday.
The organization says it has deep concerns about marijuana legalization increasing driver impaired car accidents and marijuana commercialization impacting young people.
"If you're a kid and you're growing up in an environment where you're seeing advertisements everywhere for marijuana, you're hearing that marijuana is not as bad as alcohol, and you're hearing that it's normal your parents are using it, we're going to have a whole new generation of people who are going to think marijuana is no big deal and they're going to use it a lot more than we've seen in previous generations," says Chief of Staff, Luke NiForatos.
Smart Approaches to Marijuana says it understands the arguments for marijuana legalization, but says most of the jobs in the industry are low paying and that many states don't make much money off marijuana tax revenue.
If New York state legalizes marijuana, the organization urges individual counties to opt out of the state program.