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Friday, December 2, 2022
Home Government Killian: Let's Have Open Debate Before State Goes to Pot

Killian: Let’s Have Open Debate Before State Goes to Pot

Julie KillianRye resident Julie Killian has published an open letter to State Senator Shelley Mayor and State Assemblyman Steve Otis arguing against legalization of recreational marijuana and calling for open debate in Albany.

Killian is a former Rye City Councilwoman and Deputy Mayor and has been involved in substance abuse prevention and education in Rye for over 12 years. She is the Co-Founder of RyeACT (Rye Action for Children and Teens). She ran for Lieutenant Governor of New York in 2018 on the Republican ticket.

“Dear Senator Mayer and Assemblyman Otis

Colorado Failed. Don’t Let NY

“I want you to know you were right. You told me marijuana would hurt my brain. It’s ruined my mind and my life, and I’m sorry. I love you.” Johnny Stack, Colorado resident to his mother, Laura, 3 days before he died by suicide. On Feb 27, 2021 in a Boulder, Colorado daily newspaper, two liberal Democratic lawmakers who still support legalization wrote an op-ed entitled High-potency THC creates unforeseen crisis in Colorado. It started with “We have failed.”

It goes on to say, “As parents and elected officials, we have failed to provide the safeguards our kids and young adults deserve when it comes to the emergence of high-potency THC products. We acknowledge that we need to better regulate the dangerous extracted chemical products now found in dispensaries across the state.” Referencing the time when they passed amendment to legalize in 2012, they said. “At the time, we did not imagine that marijuana (what we thought of as “Mary Jane” or “weed”) would lead to the introduction of a set of dangerous high-potency THC products.”

This is 2021, you have no excuse. Why as NY State legislators, do you not acknowledge that you are legalizing not only the simple plant, “weed” but also you an entire set of “dangerous hi-potency THC products.” Where are the public hearings with experts from legalized states such as pain medicine expert, Dr Ken Finn who speaks to legislators around the world about the pitfalls of legalizing pot, or Dr Russ Kamer who has done extensive research on drugged driving and fatality rates and workplace implications, or Harvard neuroscientist, Dr Bertha Madras, who says “This is not a war on drugs, it is a defense of our brains, the repository of our humanity”? And there are dozens of others who could inform your decisions and educate you on where other states went wrong. Doesn’t it make sense that we use readily available data and science to inform NY’s law, and make sure to take into account all marijuana products and not just the plant. Don’t you want to make your law better to cover as many unintended consequences as possible to keep our kids and our communities as safe as possible?

If it makes so much sense to have more marijuana in NY then stand by your convictions and have the guts to have an honest conversation and look at all the information, both pro and con! Have hearings ­­­­­­­on the floor of the Senate and the Assembly. New York has a major tarnish on it right now, let’s not make that worse. Let’s show the world that the Empire State really is the best state!

Personally, I am against legalization of recreational marijuana and feel that through medical marijuana and well thought out decriminalization and criminal justice policies, we can reach our goals of fair treatment for everyone in NY while also keeping our kids safe.

Thank you for your consideration.

Julie Powers Killian
Forest Avenue
Rye, NY”


  1. Thank you, Julie, for speaking out on our behalf on the legalization issue. Well said! I also implore our legislators to ask the tough questions, dive into the research and then openly debate and discuss this complex issue before making a decision that will impact generations of New Yorkers.

  2. Thanks for the support. Right now it looks like they will allow legislators to make statements on the floor but not necessarily have any expert testimony. Beyond my comprehension why they feel the need to move so quickly during a major health crisis that impacts the lungs and a teen and young adult mental health crisis. Thanks again.


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