Republican Lawmaker Voted Against Medical Marijuana, Now Plans to Invest Millions in Marijuana Businesses

| by Michael Allen

Republican New York Assemblyman Steve Katz, who opposed a medical marijuana bill in 2012, is reportedly planning to invest up to $10 million in marijuana-related businesses.

Katz recently joined a marijuana investment and research firm, The ArcView Group, according to ArcView CEO Troy Dayton.

Dayton told the “Smell the Truth” blog of the San Francisco Chronicle that Katz wants to raise millions of dollars to fund marijuana-related start-ups.

Not only did Katz vote against medical marijuana in 2012, but he was also cited for a small amount of marijuana possession in March after a police officer pulled him over on a traffic stop.

Katz told the Chronicle that his run-in with the law was “an epiphany” and he thought at the time, “‘You’re turning me into a criminal? You got to be kidding.’”

According to the New York Daily News, the lawmaker sent out a mailer to voters in 2012, in which he claimed that “our community has been stricken with an increase in drug use and drunk driving by our youngest citizens” and supported the “struggle against illegal drug culture and the abuse of narcotics.”

However, now Katz said he didn’t support his own vote against medical marijuana in 2012.

“I decided to vote what I believed to be the vote of my constituents,” Katz told the Chronicle. “The day after that I told my wife, ‘Next year, I really don’t care. I’m voting for medical marijuana because that’s what I believe in and I’m not comfortable with what happened.’”

This year, Katz co-sponsored the same medical marijuana bill that he voted against last year.

Sources: San Francisco ChronicleNew York Daily News