After pot bust, Assemblyman Steve Katz to invest in marijuana-related businesses

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Assemblyman Steve Katz, R-Yorktown, Westchester County, is joining up with a California venture-capital firm to seek investments in marijuana-related businesses, his spokesman confirmed today.

Katz was charged with marijuana possession and speeding on the Thruway in March. He voted against the legalization of medical marijuana last year, but voted for it this year.

katz3The blog, Smell the Truth, reported yesterday that Katz will seek to raise $10 million through the San Francisco-based marijuana investment and research firm The ArcView Group.

Katz’s spokesman, Joseph Ahearn, confirmed the report.

“I know he wants to be involved with ArcView and what they are doing,” Ahearn said. “They are basically a venture-capitalist firm involved with cannabis-related industries.”

The blog quoted Katz as saying he wants to be a champion for medicinal marijuana and the legalization of marijuana. Katz was at a hearing on Long Island today on legalizing medical marijuana held by Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan.

“He’s been interested in this for some time now, and he wanted to get involved with it. It’s separate from his legislative duties. It’s something he wanted to invest in,” Ahearn said.

The blog said that Katz plans to help fund marijuana-related companies focused on business software, security, and distribution.

In the article, Katz is quoted as saying that his marijuana possession charge “didn’t change anything other than make me decide that I was going to not only be a champion for medical marijuana, and for its total legalization, I was going to become part of the wave that’s building in the industry itself. It’s a great feeling. It’s very liberating.”

Katz was criticized after his marijuana charge for not supporting medical marijuana, which has passed repeatedly in the Democratic-led Assembly, but has not been approved in the Republican-led Senate.

In a op-ed piece in June in the Journal News, Katz apologized for the marijuana charge and expressed his support for medicinal marijuana. The charges were to be dropped after Katz completed community service.

In his speech on the Assembly floor in support of the medical marijuana bill, Katz said he regretted his previous vote. He said that as a veterinarian and son of a ailing mother, he understood that the bill would be helpful to New Yorkers.

“We cannot ignore the reality that cannabis has real medicinal properties, and to be perfectly clear, this bill will not legalize the type of behavior one would imagine in a Cheech and Chong or Harold and Kumar movie,” Katz wrote in the op-ed. “Rather, this bill takes a responsible step in helping those who are in need.”

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18 Comments

  1. It’s a shame that it took an arrest for Mr. Katz to stand up for what he really believes. I’m glad he’s doing the right thing now, but why do so many politicians vote for and parrot the party line on marijuana when most born after WWII have probably smoked pot and probably believe in their heart of hearts that it should be legal? Katz didn’t really have any choice on this. He was a hypocrite if he didn’t come out for legalization, and everybody was going to know it.

    Are the rest of the hypocrites going to have to get busted before they do the right thing? How many polls have to come out showing majority support for legalization before a majority of lawmakers are for it? What are they afraid of, especially the Republicans? Most who have strongly opposed legalization over the last several decades are dead now and that opposition keeps dying of old age. Support will continue to grow because of this and because it’s becoming painfully obvious to more and more people that this particular failed prohibition stops nothing but costs us a fortune and does far more harm than good. Legalization is inevitable and something we need to do for the good of us all.

  2. So here’s the big question to ask…Who wouldn’t be interested in investing in marijuana related industries? The simple fact is, it’s an emerging market with tons of profits to be had. The world is realizing it’s not so bad for us, so some big changes are on the horizons! I’m all for investing in marijuana industry!

  3. He is still a bit of a hypocrite by only going so far as to support medical marijuana, when we all know his possession was entirely for recreational purposes. Thus to negate his hypocrisy he must support unilateral decriminalization.

  4. How come no one has asked this man where he buys his stuff. It is illegal in New York. if he has it, he is breaking the law. I am told he is a law and order guy. you can’t be a law and order guy if you go in dark corners to purchase this illegal substance.

    Where is he buying it? In Yorktown, in Somers or in Putnam County. if he wants to solve the illegal drug problem in town he should turn in his pusher.

  5. Deena Weintraub on

    Can nobody see Katz’s Conflict of Interest? As a legislator, he’s promoting legal marijuana…and will personally profit from his personal and financial investment in legal marijuana if his legislative efforts succeed.

  6. This is a Conflict of Interest. This is insider trading for the state assembly. He should be kicked out of his position. This guy has to go. I don’t know if this is against the law. If it is not t should be. These guys are corrupt.

  7. Putnam Republican on

    How can the republican party support the actions of this man. He did have my vote before, but I have children, I can’t support him now. If this is the kind of candidate the republican party supports the leadership in my town, will have to go. The Yorktown clan has gone to far.

  8. Thats funny.

    When Liberal Andrew Falk is more to the right than Stephen Katz we have a problem.

  9. concerned for you on

    Steve you need treatment. I have seen you in the last several months and you don’t look good. take care of yourself for you and your family.