Give the NYPD the power NOW to close all illegal weed shops

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Assemblywoman Jenifer Rajkumar (D-Queens) has hit the ground running with a bill to let the NYPD and others shutter illegal pot shops across the Empire State.

Gov. Hochul and the Legislature, make this the law now.

And if the Legislature delays, then Hochul should deputize the NYPD and the Office of the Sheriff as state enforcement representatives to shut down the illegal vendors.

It’s insane enough that the Legislature, in legalizing pot, also explicitly said only state officials could shut down unlicensed vendors.

And that Hochul has so far declined to end-run that limit by using her executive powers to deputize enforcement.

Action is needed.

Today.

It’s the Wild West across the five boroughs as the unlicensed pot shops are hotbeds of crime and a plague on their neighborhoods.

Mayor Adams says he could shut down all the illicit outlets in the city within 30 days if given the enforcement powers.

Give him that power, governor.

The Legislature’s limits on enforcement and the executive branch’s bumbling rollout of legal weed shops (thanks, ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo!) has let cannabis outlaws run amok.

The dysfunctional state Office of Cannabis Management is vastly too understaffed to handle enforcement actions alone.

And in nearly three years the OCM has only managed to license 38 shops statewide, while an estimated 36,000 illicit ones have opened.

The out-of-control black market has cost the state millions in lost taxes and helped crime soar.

And taxpaying, licensed cannabis sellers can’t compete against the rogue operators.

Rajkumar’s bill should pass ASAP, but if the crime-loving Legislature won’t act immediately, Hochul must; plenty of lawmakers will silently cheer her.



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