New York City Council Formally Backs Cannabis Legalisation
In the ever gaining momentum of legalisation, the City Council of New York has made a formal request for the state’s legislature to pass historic law to see marijuana taxed and regulated. It is big news, and a gigantic show of support for the pro-legalisation movement from a significant political body.
To be more precise, the council put their backing behind two upcoming bills: The Fairness and Equality Act and the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act.
The first of these is aimed to eliminate the racial bias that seems to be so prevalent in US marijuana related arrests. It will do this by making it impossible for possessing or sharing a small amount of cannabis to be a criminal offense.
The second, more sweeping act, would effectively end prohibition in the state by implementing a system to regulate and tax the sale of marijuana – in a similar manner to the way the state currently taxes and controls alcohol. Not only would this make New York a much safer place, but it would generate millions in tax revenue, save on policing costs, as well as further help eliminate the racial bias that goes hand in hand with cannabis prohibition.
In a statement regarding the news, Alyssa Aguilera, Political Director of VOCAL-NY had the following to say: “The Council’s public support for marijuana legalization is exactly the type of progressive and bold leadership we need to end the failed war on drugs and reform our broken criminal justice system. With this policy statement, the Council has showed that they understand that it is unjust and unfair to criminalize mostly black and brown New Yorkers for an activity that poses no public safety threat and happens in every corner of the city. I hope Albany will heed the call of the Council and pass these two pieces of legislation so that we can move forward a vision of drug policy that is rooted in public safety and health, not costly and biased incarceration.”
IS NEW YORK GOING TO BE THE NEXT LEGAL STATE?
As we have said, this is a pretty significant development. Up until now, it has mainly been public initiatives that have led to legalisation – meaning there has been enough public support present to warrant holding a referendum on the matter. Very few, if any, actual political bodies have come forward and said “we want this, let’s make it happen”. Of course, there are now senators and other politicians that publicly support the end to prohibition, but this has been a direct result of the sway in public opinion, and shows the power that the spread of knowledge and science can have. The marijuana political landscape is changing. Can prohibition last much longer?