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Dear Governor Cuomo and Legislative Leaders,

The NYS Congress of Parents and Teachers, Inc. (NYS PTA) is honored to represent the families of our 2.6 million school children and our nearly 300,000 member parents, families, and educators. It is our mission to make every child’s potential a reality and support EVERY child with ONE voice.

We continue to strongly oppose the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, and oppose legislation that was recently amended in the Senate and Assembly.

We have previously written our opposition in November 2018, and consistently through the 2019 state budget negotiations in a series of memos, joint letters, and press conferences alongside allies from the school, medical, public health and law enforcement communities.  

The legalization and commercialization of recreational marijuana creates a serious public and child health threat.  NYS PTA urges you to heed the recommendations from leading medical and public health organizations, school groups, and the law enforcement community and NOT legalize recreational marijuana.

We offer the following examples why this important policy decision cannot be rushed, and we continue our opposition:

While NYS PTA agrees there are issues of systemic injustice in NY, legalization of marijuana does not address the root of these issues, rather can exacerbate these problems by promoting increased drug use and the accompanying negative social consequences in disadvantaged communities. As reminder, in Colorado and Washington, states that have legalized recreational use and sales:

NYS PTA urges you to charge NYS public health services and agencies, including the NYS Office of Health, NYS Office of Mental Health working in collaboration with the Mental Health Association in New York State and the NYS Medical Society, to conduct unbiased multiple medical-based data-driven studies on recreational marijuana and its impact on the physical and mental health of our citizens and children. 

We also support multiple legislative and public hearings on the legalization of recreational marijuana in the 2019-2020 legislative session before any legislation is reconsidered.

NYS PTA stands ready to work collaboratively to support ALL children and families. We are available at any time by contacting our Executive Director, Kyle Belokopitsky, at or 518-452-8808 (office) or 518-817-3017 (cell).