Lessons from 1977 resonate in 2019 marijuana debate in Albany – The Buffalo News

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ALBANY – From his longtime residence on the eastern side of Lake Ontario, H. Douglas Barclay has encountered substantially in his decades as state and national Republican energy broker, buddy of the Bush household, former ambassador to El Salvador and founder of an influential law firm with offices scattered across New York and elsewhere.

However the 87-year-old former state senator nonetheless recalls vividly the summer season day in 1977 when he helped drive via the GOP-led Senate what would be New York’s very first stab at partially decriminalizing marijuana laws.

It was a historic and bumpy path that had close connections to the marijuana decriminalization bill that passed the State Legislature six weeks ago.

Barclay may possibly have seemed an odd option to lead a bid to loosen up marijuana laws just 4 years earlier, he had teamed with then-Gov. Nelson Rockefeller to enact some of the nation’s toughest – critics say harshest – anti-drug laws.

But that was then. On June 28, 1977, Barclay was hunting…

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