Former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra, who is also seeking a Republican nomination to contest for the post of governor, stated he wants to legalize recreational marijuana in order to improve the New York subway system.

According to an exclusive report by New York Daily News, Giambra said he would use the revenue generated by the sale of recreational marijuana to fund for the improvements which are needed to be made in the public transportation system.

A source close to Giambra said, “Adult use of marijuana can produce revenue for the state that can rebuild the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and our roads and bridges throughout the state.”

“Many of our neighboring states now allow for adult use and New York will miss out on billions in revenue and further expand the black market,” the source added.

The source also stated that Giambra will write a formal proposal letter of the plan during his campaign. Curtis Sliwa, the founder of Guardian Angels — a group which fights against crimes on the New York City (NYC) subway, stated that Giambra stressed on the issue of legalizing marijuana during a meeting last week.

Giambra described the NYC subway system as a “disgrace” and also advised New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to fire the entire MTA staff, New York Daily News reported last week.

Giambra reportedly said, Friday, “[Andrew] Cuomo is the conductor and he is running the train system into the ground.”

Giambra also stated that Cuomo should substitute his nominees to the MTA board “to take charge of a transit system that is out of control, quite possibly corrupt, and costing taxpayers billions of dollars.”

The source further stated, “As both a cancer survivor and someone who has seen the devastation of opioid addiction, Joel [Giambra] believes, and medical research supports, that prescribing marijuana to ease pain diverts people from becoming addicted to much harder drugs .”

Giambra is also of the opinion that the present opioid crisis “is a direct result of a pay-to-play culture where government for years turned a blind eye in return for contributions from big pharma-resulting in the… opioid epidemic,” the source added.

However, Assembly Minority leader Brian Kolb gave a negative reaction to Giambra’s idea.

“It is a mess, there’s no doubt about it,” said Kolb regarding the public transit system. “But I’m not so sure this is the way to address it,” he added.

Kolb also stated he was not opposing the idea of a possible legalization of recreational marijuana in the future, but he would first look at studies regarding the impact of legalization on crime and drug abuse in the states which already legalized the drug before “making a full-throttled effort.”

This week, Cuomo is expected to present the legislature which would consist of a list of options aimed at developing long-term funding solutions for the MTA which is financially weak. 

A spokesperson for Cuomo didn’t make a comment on Giambra’s plan, the report stated.