Larry Sharpe has a true vision for New York

Larry Sharpe, Libertarian candidate for governor, visited Gloversville on Aug. 28, and spoke at the American Legion, where he explained many of his ideas to improve New York state.

One of his core policies is to move control and decision making from the state level in Albany toward the counties. He recognizes that different parts of the state are just that, different. An example of how one region imposes their will on others is the issue of the SAFE Act and “gun control.” Sharpe plans on pardoning anyone convicted under the Secure Ammunization and Firearms Enforcement Act until prosecutors realize that it is a pointless legislation. However, if someone robbed a bank and also was convicted of a SAFE Act violation, they would stay in jail for robbing the bank.

On the topic of tax reform, Sharpe mentioned that counties’ budgets are 80 percent plus pre-determined for them by either Albany or Washington in the form of unfunded mandates. This is one area in which much can be accomplished at the state level. By removing mandates, Sharpe will let people decide for themselves what they want to fund at the county level. Meanwhile, at the state level, New York currently spends twice what Florida does on their budget, yet Florida has more people. There is more than a little fat to be trimmed from our budget.

On the topic of marijuana, Sharpe favors decriminalizing possession and “regulating it like onions.” Farmers would be able to decide whether they want to grow marijuana and/or hemp, which can be used in a plethora of products. Personally, I don’t smoke marijuana, nor would I even if legal. However, many people do use it for pain management in lieu of opioid medication. Some even use it to help with withdrawal from heroin/opioid addiction. When handled properly and safely, marijuana can be an “exit” drug rather than a “gateway” drug. Over-regulation will only lead to big businesses winning over smaller ones and the formation of a black market. We have already seen this type of deregulation work here in New York. The success of so many breweries and wineries in recent years is a direct result of an easing of regulations.

These are only a few of the topics that Sharpe covered on Tuesday (not including answers to questions from the audience). I plan to send a future letter which will cover even more information.

BRANDON LYON

Johnstown

Temporary county chairman

Fulton County Libertarian Party