Democratic candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon on Wednesday declared her support for taxing, regulating, and legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in New York state.
In a 90-second video, released through social media, Nixon said her position is a matter of racial justice, and that legalization marijuana can also generate much-needed tax revenue and create new agricultural opportunities for New York.
The full transcript is below:
I believe it’s time for New York to follow the lead of 8 other states and DC and legalize the recreational use of marijuana.
There are a lot of good reasons for legalizing marijuana, but for me, it comes down to this: we have to stop putting people of color in jail for something that white people do with impunity.
80% of the New Yorkers arrested for marijuana are black or Latino, despite the fact that whites and people of color use marijuana at roughly the same rates.
The consequences follow people for the rest of their lives, making it harder to get jobs, or housing, and for non-citizens, putting them in the crosshairs for deportation.
In addition to ending a key front in the racist war on drugs, regulating and taxing marijuana will generate hundreds of millions of dollars of tax revenue for our people, and create important agricultural opportunities for our state.
In 2018, in a blue state like New York, marijuana shouldn’t even be an issue.
If there was more political courage coming out of Albany, we would have done this already.
The simple truth is, for white people, the use of marijuana has effectively been legal for a long time.
Isn’t it time we legalize it for everybody else?