Now the Empire State’s dazed-and-confused method to legalizing weed is producing one other crime wave — this one lethal.
The first wave was the explosion of unlicensed pot shops, roughly 1,400 within the metropolis alone — all exploiting the way in which lawmakers decreased penalties with out making efficient plans for authorized outlets to open.
While Albany dithers about fixing that difficulty, criminals are making hay robbing the unlawful outlets — and the our bodies are beginning to pile up.
On Sunday, a gunman executed a guy at a Harlem smoke store that sources say was raided and shut down simply final month for illegally peddling pot, solely to flout the legislation and reopen once more.
That follows final month’s botched Queens smoke shop robbery that left a worker shot dead.
Overall, smoke-shop robberies rose from 251 in 2021 to 599 final yr, and proceed to soar. The money from unlawful marijuana-product gross sales makes them tempting targets, whereas crooks determine the shops received’t wish to cooperate a lot with police underneath the circumstances.
When it involves closing the unlawful shops, cops and different authorities are hampered by lax state laws and paltry fines on illegal-pot outlets.
Gov. Kathy Hochul has offered legislation to tighten up on that entrance, however the Legislature appears in no rush.
Meanwhile, the method to license authorized outlets remains to be at a crawl, sophisticated by the failure to boost the funds that have been supposed to assist deprived would-be operators get in them got here.
And now disabled military vets are complaining that their functions have been uncared for because the state’s favors one single group (of the a number of who have been to be favored), specifically convicted drug felons, for the primary 300 or so licenses.
The different teams the legislation prioritized have been girls and minority-owned companies and “distressed farmers.”
The saddest factor right here is that they (most likely) weren’t truly stoned once they drew up these “plans,” however merely excessive on social-justice goals.
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