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Garner: Medical Pot Money Should Fight Heroin

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A Broome County legislator wants all money the county receives from medical marijuana to fund the fight against heroin.

Rep. Jason Garnar's resolution would require medical marijuana revenue to fund education and treatment programs. New York State approved a dispensary for Broome County in July.

Medical marijuana will be taxed at seven percent. Each county with a dispensary will receive 22.5 percent of that tax.

Garnar says that money can be used, in part, to address the shortage of treatment beds in the area.

"(It's) killed 39 people last year, it's devastating families, many of our law enforcement are saying that the heroin epidemic is directly linked to the huge property theft crime problem that we have in Broome County," said Garnar.

Garnar says the legislature will consider the resolution in September. He admits no one knows yet how much money the county will receive once the dispensary opens it's doors in 2016.

In a statement Deputy County Executive John Bernardo says, "It is rather premature to be dedicating all funds from any source to any cause without quantifying the financial needs of that cause."