Assemblyman Steve Katz, R-Yorktown, Westchester County, wasn’t at Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s State of the State address Wednesday. He was returning from a three-day Colorado marijuana industry research trip, the Journal News reported today.
Katz was ticketed on the Thruway last March for speeding and marijuana possession. Since then, he dropped his opposition to the legalization of medical marijuana and now is a pro-pot lawmaker.
He supports the full legalization of marijuana and has linked up with a California company investing in marijuana startups.
The article today doesn’t mention who paid for Katz’s trip or whether he will seek an ethics opinion for his new business endeavor.
Updated: Katz’s spokesman said the assemblyman paid for the trip himself and has sought an ethics opinion.
In the article, Katz knocked Gov. Andrew Cuomo for not moving more quickly to legalize medical marijuana. He also advocated for the full legalization of marijuana.
“Extrapolate that to New York, where we are so starving for revenue,” Katz said. “It could be a real revenue generator for our state. How do you turn that away right now, when every single indicator shows that medical marijuana has compounds that absolutely can help people?”
He didn’t buy weed on his trip to Colorado, he told the paper, or has he invested money yet into the industry.
Katz told the paper that he’s pleased with his pro-pot stance, putting it in biblical terms. He recalled the biblical story of Paul, who had persecuted early Christians, but later became a convert to Christ.“He had an epiphany on the road to Damascus,” said Katz. “In no way am I like St. Paul, but if you look at history, you can see someone who has changed, and acted on those beliefs.”