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County Executive

Posted on: March 18, 2019

County Executive Curran’s Marijuana Task Force Releases Report On Marijuana Legalization&Regulation

The full report can be read here.


Farmingdale, NY – Nassau County Executive Laura Curran’s Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation today released its final report regarding the potential impacts associated with the legalization and sale of recreational cannabis in New York State. The report identified numerous potential public safety and public health concerns that need to be addressed well before Nassau County could begin to participate in a legalized cannabis market. As such, the task force recommends that if the New York State Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act is passed in its current form, that Nassau County opt out of all cannabis-related commercial businesses.


“Based on the evidence and input I’ve received from the task force, our key stakeholders and what I’ve heard from residents, I have decided that now is not the time for the legalized sale of marijuana in Nassau County,” said County Executive Laura Curran. “What I heard from our law enforcement, our school and education professionals, health officials, and our towns and villages was clear – this isn’t something we’re ready to implement.”


“Our task force came to one important conclusion: At the height of a public health crisis, in which more than 160,000 Americans are losing their lives annually to drug and alcohol use, now is not the time for Nassau County to allow for legalized cultivation, sale, distribution or marketing of recreational cannabis products,” Legislator Josh Lafazan said. “I applaud County Executive Curran for her forward-thinking leadership on this issue, and thank Commissioner Ryder for the leadership he exhibited as the co-chair of this important task force.”


“Months ago, the County Executive asked me to be part of a task force on the possibility of legalized recreational marijuana, said Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder. “As Commissioner of Police, I had many concerns, as I was and still am strongly opposed to its legalization. At the County Executive’s request, I was asked to work with the task force to prepare a fair and impartial report, and as professionals we did just that. The committee worked exhaustedly preparing the data which included attending town hall meetings and the report shows both the negative and positive impacts on legalization. Due to the overwhelming amount of negative impact at this time, we are recommending to the County Executive that we opt out.”


On January 10, 2019, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran announced the formation of the Nassau County Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation in response to pending state legislation regarding the legalization and sale of recreational cannabis in New York. The task force was charged with examining the prospective impacts the legalization of cannabis may have on the County’s public safety, public health, business development, and communities.


Co-chaired by Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder and Legislator Joshua Lafazan, the Nassau County Task Force on Marijuana Legalization and Regulation was comprised of eight subcommittees which included: public safety, legislation and regulation, public health, treatment and recovery, education and prevention, taxation and finance, community impact, and small business impact. As such, each subcommittee submitted an impact report for their respective area of study.


The Nassau County Task Force on Marijuana Legalization & Regulation Members


  • Patrick Ryder, Nassau County Police Commissioner (Co-Chair) (Public Safety)
  • Josh Lafazan, Nassau County Legislator (Co-Chair) (Legislation and Regulation)
  • Dr. Lawrence Eisenstein, Department of Health Commissioner (Public Health
  • Francesca Carlow, President of the Nassau County Chambers of Commerce (Small

Business Impact)

  • Giselle Campbell-Ham, Assistant Principal of Freeport High School (Education and

Prevention)

  • Ralph Ekstrand, Mayor of Farmingdale (Taxation and Finance)
  • Bishop Lionel Harvey, First Baptist Cathedral of Westbury (Community Impact)
  • Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, President of Family and Children’s Association (Treatment)

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