Is the Guv Cuomo marijuana about-face paving the way for the Krueger bill?

After I went to all the trouble to agree with Governor Cuomo a year ago, saying I don’t support medical marijuana any more than he said he did, it now turns out that we’re mere moments away from legal weed… for seriously ill patients, only. Yahoo News gets a key point wrong, though:

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has steadily resisted pressure to legalize marijuana, was expected to announce the plan at Wednesday’s State of the State address, according to the newspaper’s website.

That’s not true at all. In fact, he has suggested legalizing the possession 25g or less of marijuana. What he has objected to is medical marijuana. But no longer.

Why the Cuomo marijuana switch? Because medical marijuana is the “gateway drug” to fully-legalized pot? Recent history doesn’t bear this out. Why does California still not have legal weed? No, Colorado and Washington did not bother with this “intermediary” step.

It’s much more likely that, if New York gets medical marijuana, it becomes open season for everybody. What constitutes a “serious” medical condition will be diluted and more and more people will have prescriptions for fun. This is especially true in light of Colorado and Washington getting no-bullshit legal weed.

Speculating from a million miles away it strikes me that, because Governor Cuomo’s plan is to issue an executive order, the Senate and Legislature don’t have to take any heat for legalizing weed. The pressure is off for elected Conservatives who might agree with the idea of reforming our drug laws, but who do so at the peril of alienating their constituencies. They didn’t have to pull the trigger.

But they can vote for the Krueger bill that legalizes and taxes the herbals. Because, gosh, on top of Obamacare we don’t need Liberals in Albany turning doctors into pushers! They can vote for a bill that satisfies both the Libertarians who want weed decriminalized and the social Conservatives who will probably view medical marijuana as a step towards the… oh, Californication.. of New York.

Certainly, I’m hoping there is a Cuomo marijuana plan that extends beyond medical marijuana. New York State struck a major blow for marriage equality and human dignity when they voted to legalize same sex marriage. We can once again strike a blow for social justice by being the most populous state with legal recreational weed, ending decades of useless criminal records, shame, and economic and racial disparity in our justice system.


No, no, no, wait, seriously: Cuomo is right. Medical marijuana is teh dum.

Don’t get me wrong. Do I think marijuana has plenty of perfectly legitimate medical purposes? Absolutely yes, I do believe that. I also fully believe that it makes an excellent fuel source, footwear and legal documents. Well, ok. It could make perfectly good legal documents.

However, I have also discovered another use for marijuana that you might find interesting. It turns out that, if you put the buds of the marijuana plant into a pipe and smoke it, you get high. I find this really interesting, myself.

Mind you: I don’t know any of this first-hand. Some kids in bible study told me about it. But in fairness, they were right about the number of K’s on a Marlboro pack and the image of the burning Twin Towers on the $20 bill. So I’m going to assume they’re right about this.

And being that we live in a state that doesn’t just celebrate – doesn’t just market or advertise – alcohol production and consumption, but spends millions of dollars nearly fetishizing the whole affair, it seems reasonable that we should want to also make marijuana consumption equally safe and legal. Don’t you agree?

That other states have been able to open the discussion of legal marijuana by legalizing it for medical purposes is something we can all thank them for. But the idea that legalizing marijuana for medical purposes isn’t going to just put doctors in a bind, having to either piss off and lose patients or else prescribe marijuana for a host of otherwise-curable diseases is just a farce. We all know why marijuana legalization is popular. Let’s just get on with it.

Please don’t make me seek out a prescription for fun. Please don’t turn the medical profession into a rubber stamp for the proper enjoyment of Pink Floyd and Monty Python (c’mon, dude, be honest). Let’s at least start by decriminalizing reasonable quantities of weed in the state.

Or if we are going to make this a medical thing, let’s also require insurance companies to pay for lava lamps, Doritos and Christmas lights that change color to the beat of music. In for a penny, in for a pound.

Rochester Technology

FULL TEXT: An Energy Highway? Really, Drew?

I’m just thrilled to pieces about Andrew Cuomo’s new economic agenda. Really. And I mean that. But there’s a part here that seems.. well, you read it:

Cuomo to call for sweeping new economic agenda in State of the State address – NY Daily News.

The governor will announce a plan to build an “energy expresssway” to send electricity and renewable energy from upstate and western New York to the downstate region.

Without providing specifics, Cuomo will say the energy expressway will be financed by more than $1 billion in infrastructure investments by private sector companies.

The energy thruway, he’ll say, will ensure New York’s power needs are met for the next 50 years.

You know: an expressway is used to go past the shit you don’t care about. You know that, right?

So, in 200+ years of history, our state returns once more to its origins: an expensive city-state sucking up resources from everything north of it. And a bunch of useless yokels, just trying to keep up with demand. This is what our economic commissions were setup to facilitate, then? Thanks, Danny Wegman.

UPDATED: read the full text of the speech here. (infuriating bits on page 12)

UPDATED: Ok, I’m getting pissed. Check this line out:

We have an excess of generation capacity and tremendous wind power potential in Upstate and Western New York and north of the border in Quebec. We have tremendous energy needs Downstate.

Got that? Tremendous wind power potential in our barren, windswept no-man’s land, ready for exploitation by New York City, where its needed.


Governor Cuomo Declares State Budget Process a “Sham” has an op-ed penned by our new Governor, Andrew Cuomo, where he outlines the budget process as he now understands it:

It is dictated by hundreds of rates and formulas that are marbleized throughout New York State laws that govern different programs – formulas that have been built into the law over decades, without regard to fiscal realities, performance or accountability.

The formulas operate year after year, generating liabilities that when totaled define the state’s budget growth. The one thing the rates do well is increase year after year. These formulas (predominantly in education and Medicaid funding) are often inserted into the law by pressure from well-connected special interests and lobbyists. When a governor takes office, in many ways the die has already been cast.

He compares it, quite understandably if his analysis is correct, to the scams and schemes his job as Attorney General was meant to root out in other venues. He explains that the 10 billion dollar budget deficit that politicians and journalists alike have discussed – himself included – is basically a function of unreasonably high automatic increases in funding, not on actual numbers or any kind of needs assessment. In fact, if the budget were adjusted by inflation rather than the dictums of these arbitrary systems, the deficit would be a much more manageable 1 billion dollars. All of this is based on his analysis and reporting.

The other side of this that he does not discuss is: if the 13 percent increases are to fund education and Medicare, shouldn’t kids be getting chauffeured to school every day? 13 percent. According to one (admittedly randomly-picked) estimate, Rochester City Schools spend about $1600 per student per year. A 13 percent increase in spending would be about a $2000 pick-up in a single year. Somehow, that doesn’t smell quite right.

I have no idea how accurate the Governor’s numbers are. And I have no way of finding out, either. But if he’s even half-right, where the hell is all that money going?


w00t! Kennedy’s Support Dries Up

I’m not sure that our opinion matters much at this point, but maybe it does. If so, Caroline Kennedy has a real problem in New York State in her bid to become our state’s second Senator. Talking Points Memo’s Election Central is reporting today that her 21 point lead has ablated into a 20 crater favouring Andrew Cuomo, who lets face it is a much better choice in the first place.

I’d like to think that our opinion on the subject matters to our representatives in Albany, but that’s never been much of a sure thing. And by the way, last night was the first time I got to hear CK actually speak in front of a camera. I’ve been inclined to believe that the whole, “you know” thing was just more media drama, but oh, my achin’ back. I stand corrected.


It’s Going to be a Tough Choice, This Week

One thing about primary season: everybody’s super keyed up to win the nomination. It seems every day, there’s another entry for the Douchebag of the Week award, one more qualified than the next. Today’s most recent entry is New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, a guy who you’d have thought would know better than to put his foot quite so forcibly in his mouth:

Election Central | Talking Points Memo | Hillary Supporter Andrew Cuomo On Her NH Win: “You Can’t Shuck And Jive” w/Press Corps

“It’s not a TV crazed race. Frankly you can’t buy your way into it,” Cuomo said, according to Albany Times Union reporter Rick Karlin. He then added, “You can’t shuck and jive at a press conference. All those moves you can make with the press don’t work when you’re in someone’s living room.”