Today, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he will be pushing to legalize recreational marijuana in 2019, according to New York Times. That would bring over $1.7 billion sales annually.
During his speech which outlined his agenda for the first 100 days of his third term he stated, “The fact is we have had two criminal justice systems: one for the wealthy and the well off, and one for everyone else,” Mr. Cuomo said, describing the injustice that he said had “for too long targeted the African-American and minority communities.”
“Let’s legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all,” he added.
Ten other states and Washington, D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana, spending the new tax revenue on a host of initiatives, including schools and transportation.
The idea is expected to have support in Albany through Members of the Assembly and State Senate.
Marijuana will create tax revenue and legalizing it could ease the opioid crisis and racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Many public officials and policy groups are already naming different ways for uses of the revenue. One proposal is to use it towards New York City’s subway system. Others said that it should be invested into the Black and Latino communities that were disproportionately affected by prosecution .
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