NY Mental Health Association urges caution on legalized marijuana

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Dried marijuana (DEA)

The Mental Health Association of New York State is urging state officials to proceed cautiously as they consider proposals to legalize recreational marijuana.

The organization released a statement Wednesday stating that despite mounting support for legalization, officials must be thoughtful in their approach if they want to minimize potential negative effects.

The association listed several serious concerns about legalization, such as addiction and the impact marijuana can have on the neurological development of young people.

The group also laid out recommendations, such as tobacco-style warning labels, expanded public outreach about the drug's dangers and continued prohibition of recreational marijuana for those under 25.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and many lawmakers now support legalization, which is expected to be voted on in this year's legislative session.