Senator Joseph Griffo hosted a roundtable discussion on legalizing marijuana in New York State at his Utica office on Thursday.

Griffo says he want to develop an informed opinion on the issue of legalized marijuana should it come up for a vote in the next state legislative session.

"There has been much discussion, deliberation and debate about legalizing marijuana for recreational use in New York State. Today’s discussion allowed for professionals and stakeholders from a variety of fields to express their views and opinions about the impact that legalizing recreational marijuana could have on New York State. I also will be reaching out to the public through a variety of means to get their thoughts on this issue in the future, and my staff or I will be attending listening sessions that are being conducted by the state Department of Health. I will be keeping an open mind when it comes to this matter. We must ensure that we discuss, deliberate and examine all factors and aspects of this issue in making a decision” said Griffo.

Griffo heard from a number of local officials, including Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol, District Attorney Scott McNamara and Donna Vitagliano of Insight House.

The discussion focused on several topics, including the legal, clinical, medical and public safety aspects of legalizing recreational marijuana and any potential economic impact of doing so.

A series of listening sessions on regulated marijuana are being held across the state.

One of the 15 sessions will be held in Utica on Wednesday, October 10th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn on Burrstone Road.