University at Buffalo experts available to discuss marijuana legalization in New York

Release Date: March 29, 2021


BUFFALO, N.Y. — University at Buffalo researchers are available to discuss the following topics related to New York State officials’ decision to legalize recreational marijuana.

Public health, substance abuse

R. Lorraine Collins is a psychologist and professor of community health and health behavior.

In 2018, she was named to a working group created by New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo that was tasked with drafting legislation on how to regulate marijuana use in New York State.

Her research interests include cognitive and behavioral approaches to the conceptualization, prevention and treatment of addictive behaviors, particularly among emerging and young adults. Examples of projects funded by the National Institutes of Health include a study examining risk factors in alcohol abuse, and a study on drug use and problem behaviors in minority youth.

Collins is available 716-829-6951 or

Addictive behaviors and the ‘munchies’

Jessica Kruger, clinical assistant professor of community health and health behavior, is an expert on the public health impacts of addictive behaviors.

Kruger can also speak to the media about behaviors associated with substance use and abuse, including the “munchies” and “drunchies” — the desire to eat unhealthy foods after heavy use of marijuana or a night of drinking, respectively.

In addition, she can discuss the importance of standardizing cannabis product labels to better protect the public and ensure proper use.

Kruger is available at 716-829-6748 or

Racial disparities in drug law enforcement

Henry Louis Taylor Jr., director of the UB Center for Urban Studies, can speak to the media about a wide range of topics related to urban development and social, economic and racial justice, including racial disparities in marijuana arrests.

Taylor is available at 716-829-5458 or

The politics of legalization in New York

James Battista, associate professor of political science, can speak to the media about issues related to New York State government and other state legislatures. His work focuses on how legislatures organize themselves to do business and the consequences of different styles of organization. He also studies state legislative committee composition, state legislative party strength, legislative voting inside committees and new methods of estimating legislator preferences.

Battista is available at 716-645-8438 or

Media Contact Information

Douglas Sitler
Associate Director of National/International Media Relations
Faculty Experts

Tel: 716-645-9069