NY lawmakers push for legalization of marijuana to be more about 'justice'
Lawmakers say the renewed push to legalize recreational marijuana in New York should have a central focus on justice for those imprisoned and incarcerated.
New York lawmakers have tried to legalize marijuana and failed twice. Many now feel it’s not a matter of if, but when. Some estimates say that after a few years, recreational marijuana could mean $300 million in state funding--though for many funding doesn’t equal racial justice.
In a Zoom meeting Thursday, lawmakers referenced the case of Fizroy Gale in Canarsie that happened last March. A video shows his violent arrest for allegedly smoking pot in the park.
The Zoom meeting also discussed a way to take the job of legalization away from Gov. Andrew Cuomo through the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.
The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act would allow the growth, use, and taxation of marijuana for people 21 and older, while changing the law to lower criminal penalties - all this instead of pushing it through the latest state budget.
"This should have been passed years ago. Too many people have been imprisoned and incarcerated and punished,” said Brooklyn Movement Center deputy director Anthonine Pierre.