New York: Legalize recreational marijuana

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Marijuana needs to finally be legalized in New York state.

Ten states (including Massachusetts, right next door) and Washington, D.C. have all legalized adult use of recreational marijuana. New York is lagging behind.

Legalization would let the state better control licensing, ensure quality control and therefore consumer protection, and they could set age and quantity restrictions. Plus, the state would get millions in tax revenue every single year.

Around 17,500 people are arrested each year on marijuana possession charges in New York City alone. Research has found that there is no good evidence that marijuana arrests in New York City are associated with reductions in crime.

That means your tax dollars are being spent housing these “dangers to society.” Is that how you want your money to be spent?

The Department of Health released a report in June that concluded that marijuana-related arrests disproportionately affect low income African American and other minority communities despite the fact that these communities aren’t significantly more likely to use pot. That’s not right.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo just announced for the first time that he supports marijuana legalization in the state, and will be making it a legislative priority in 2019 — the momentum is on our side.

On top of that, Democrats now control both houses of the New York state legislature for the first time since Cuomo became governor in 2011.

Now is the time for New York to finally legalize recreational marijuana: tell Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature: legalize recreational marijuana now.