(HARLEM) – After passing the State Senate and Assembly, last night the Governor signed into law the legalization of marijuana in New York state. For too long we have seen the unjust effects of the war on drugs damage our community and incarcerate our people. Not only does this bill end the practice of criminalizing marijuana, it attempts to correct for past wrongs committed by our criminal justice system.
Key items in the bill:
– People with marijuana convictions that are no longer criminalized will have their records automatically expunged.
– 40% of tax revenue will be steered directly towards grants for communities disproportionately impacted by marijuana arrests.
– Law enforcement will not be able to use the odor of marijuana as a pretext for a search.
– People who currently participate in the sale of marijuana will be able to participate in the new legal market.
– Expected annual tax revenue of $360 million.
– Expected to create 30,000-60,000 jobs statewide.
– New Yorkers will be able to grow up to six plants each in their homes.
Why does this matter? In the past 20 years New York State has arrested and ticked over 800,000 people for simple possession of marijuana- more than anywhere else in the world. Nearly 85% of people arrested for marijuana possession annually in New York State are Black and Latino.
We have a lot of work to do to undo the harmful effects marijuana prohibition has had on our community. These funds will go a long way to finally bring the justice we deserve.
As a City Council Member I intend to fight everyday to secure opportunities for the residents of our district. If you are able, we would greatly appreciate a donation so we can bring our message to more voters in our community.