Matt Sutton 212-613-8026
New York, NY – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo again included legislation for marijuana legalization in his omnibus budget bill.
Statement from Melissa Moore, New York State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance and member of Start SMART NY Coalition (Sensible Marijuana Access through Regulated Trade):
“It is encouraging that Governor Cuomo has now acknowledged the need to devote resources to social equity and community reinvestment in his plan to legalize adult use cannabis, but it is disappointing that his proposal, as stated, devotes only a fraction of the funding that is needed in these program areas.
The Governor needs to check his math. After a period of five years, the funds directed to the communities hardest hit by the marijuana arrest crusade would amount to a small share of the tax revenue that the state would receive. We, along with our community and legislative allies, have long said that legalization needs to be done right if it is to be done right now—that means centering communities that have borne the brunt of racist enforcement for far too long.
Governor Cuomo has listened to the calls to include social equity in his legalization platform. But to the communities that have been brutalized by the immoral war on drugs for so long, the current proposal does not go even remotely far enough. We will not give up on getting this done right.”