Leslie Barbaro/Newsday Westchester
New York Assemblyman Steve Katz (R-99) is putting his money where his lungs are, joining forces with venture capitalists to raise $ 10 million for medical marijuana-related businesses.
ALBANY — A New York state assemblyman from Westchester County who was charged with marijuana possession in March is now high on pot as an investment.
Republican Steve Katz has joined up with California venture capital firm The ArcView and hopes to raise $ 10 million for marijuana-related businesses, his spokesman confirmed.
“He thinks this is an important new medicine that can bring a lot of positives,” said spokesman Joseph Ahearn, who was uncertain how much of the $ 10 million would come from Katz’s own money.
Katz, a veterinarian, was pulled over by the state police on the Thruway outside Albany in March and ticketed for speeding and marijuana possession. The pot charge was later dismissed after he performed 20 hours of community service.
In an interview this week with the blog Smell the Truth, Katz described the pot charge as an “epiphany” that led to his support for the legalization of medical marijuana.
Different strains of pot are displayed at a Seattle medical marijuana market.
“You’re turning me into a criminal? You got to be kidding,” he told the blog.
Katz also said: “For me, entering this industry at this time is a dream come true from a child of the Sixties all grown up.”
Katz on Wednesday took part in an Assembly Health Committee hearing on medical marijuana in Mineola and again expressed support for legalizing medical pot.
The Assembly has repeatedly passed measures to legalize pot for medical uses but the issue has stalled in the state Senate.
Gov. Cuomo also opposes medical marijuana.