The New York Democratic Party is officially endorsing the legalization of cannabis in the state. This comes at a time that New Jersey is expected to legalize marijuana for adult use, but has not made any specific moves nor acted on any legislation.
“The New York State Democratic Committee supports the legalization of marijuana which should be regulated and taxed in a manner similar to alcohol,” reads a resolution adopted by delegates at the party’s convention on Wednesday, as reported in Marijuana Moment.
Cannabis legalization “is an important social justice issue,” the measure says. “Millions of peaceful Americans have been arrested, imprisoned, fined, or otherwise needlessly criminalized and stigmatized, potentially for life, because of their use of marijuana.”
This comes just days after Mayor Bill de Blasio urged the New York City police to end marijuana arrests for public consumption. The NYC police already issue citations for possession but have continued to arrest public cannabis smokers.
I’m announcing today that the NYPD will overhaul its marijuana enforcement policies in the next 30 days. We must end unnecessary arrests and end disparity in enforcement.
— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) May 15, 2018
Along these lines, days before Mayor de Blasio made his announcement, the NY Daily News published a front cover endorsement for the legalization of marijuana.
It’s time to end this reefer madness! https://t.co/2AMLbJf26o
An early look at Friday’s front… pic.twitter.com/agLnP01FG0
— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) May 18, 2018
In the NY Dems’ resolution it also states that “in New York City alone, there are 40,000-50,000 arrests for marijuana each year of which 85% are Black or Latino persons.” The Democrats also quoted a 2014 Quinnipiac poll revealing that 57% of all New Yorkers support cannabis legalization and 83% of residents between the age of 18-29 support it.
Despite Governor Murphy tweeting about marijuana and including $80 million in revenue from marijuana taxes in the budget, some feel little has been done to urge the legislation to act. However, there are several NJ legislators working behind the scenes to expand medical cannabis and the medical marijuana program continues to add patients on a regular basis.
Who will get there first, New York or New Jersey? What do you think?
Stay Informed – Educate – Advocate – Network
Cover Photo Credit: istock/palinchakjr