What to Know
- The push for pot hit the stairs of City Hall in Manhattan Thursday
- Supporters of marijuana legalization gathered demanding that elected officials make this a top priority in the next legislative session
- Supporters also touted the economic benefits
The push for pot hit the stairs of City Hall in Manhattan Thursday.
Supporters of marijuana legalization gathered demanding that elected officials make this a top priority in the next legislative session in January.
“We know this is a winning issue,” Deputy Director of NY State Drug Policy Alliance Melissa Moore said. “More than two-thirds of New Yorkers support legalization – more than a majority of people in suburban areas even support having a dispensary in their communities.”
Moore also says legalization means more jobs.
“Rockefeller Institute of Government just a few months ago came out with projections that 30,000 direct jobs could be created in New York,” she said.
Supporters also touted the benefits of tax revenue. They say that money should be reinvested in the same communities that have been negatively impacted by aggressive marijuana policing.
“We have to make sure that we make a way for those folks that have been the most affected with marijuana to have access to the ability to sell it,” New York City’s Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said.
For Pilar De Jesus it’s not just a matter of tax revenue, but it’s about ending disproportionate policing in low-income communities.
“You will see that Harlem, Washington Heights, Brooklyn and the Bronx are mostly targeted, areas of people of color,” De Jesus, an activist for marijuana legalization, said.
Williams confronted Gov. Andrew Cuomo, urging him to take the necessary steps to pass the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act into law.
“Governor Cuomo every time he wants to get something done, he gets it done. If he’s saying one thing and it doesn’t get done, then he’s not telling the truth,” Williams said.
Supporters of the bill agreed that Cuomo should be its leader and commit to the legalization of marijuana considering New York to be one of the most progressive states in the nation.