TUESDAY Press Conference: Advocates Demand Marijuana Legalization in New York Focus on Racial and Economic Justice

Press Release May 7, 2018
Media Contact

Contact: Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Kassandra Frederique 646-209-0374


ALBANY, N.Y. –  On May 8, a coalition of community advocates led by Drug Policy Alliance will join Senator Liz Krueger (D-New York City) and Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D-Buffalo) to push the Legislature and the Governor to pass the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA, S.3040B/A.3506B), which would legalize marijuana for adult use. The Start SMART NY campaign (SMART stands for Sensible Marijuana Access through Regulated Trade) is the leading voice for marijuana reform in the state and believes that marijuana legalization provides a significant opportunity to enact meaningful social, racial, and economic justice policies.

Marijuana legalization is coming to New York. Currently, nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for adult use. Regulated markets have been established and opened in six of those states, with Massachusetts and Vermont coming soon. Jurisdictions bordering New York, including New Jersey, Connecticut, and Canada, are all working to pass legalization measures. Recent endorsements by state and federal lawmakers, spurred by significant public support, demonstrate that New York could be among the next states to legalize marijuana for adult use.

The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act provides a framework for legalizing marijuana in a way that will uplift communities and ensure that New York’s cannabis industry is diverse and inclusive. The bill would establish a legal market for marijuana in New York, create a system to tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol for adults over the age of 21, seek to repair harms of prohibition by addressing past criminal convictions, and reinvest resources in communities that have been most impacted by the drug war.

Learn more at Start SMART NY.

What:               Press Conference for Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act


When:              2 pm, Tuesday, May 8, 2018


Who:                Senator Liz Krueger (D-NYC), bill prime sponsor

Assemblymember Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D-Buffalo), bill prime sponsor

Senator Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx)

Assemblymember Richard Gottfried (D-NYC)

Assemblymember Latrice Walker (D-Brooklyn)

Start SMART NY coalition:

                                           Individuals directly impacted by marijuana prohibition


Where: Senate Chambers, New York State Capitol, Albany, NY 12224


Start SMART NY is a campaign to end marijuana prohibition and repair the harms to communities convened by the Drug Policy Alliance in partnership with groups dedicated to ending marijuana prohibition.

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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