WILLIAMS, DRUG POLICY ALLIANCE RESPOND TO MARIJUANA-RELATED REVENUE PROPOSALS
NEW YORK, NY: Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn), Deputy Leader, and Melissa Moore, New York State Deputy Director of the Drug Policy Alliance released the following statements in response to the new proposals for spending incoming revenue that would result from marijuana legalization.
Council Member Jumaane D. Williams said "As a longtime advocate for the legalization of marijuana, regardless of the political environment, I am glad that government in New York is catching up with what has been clear for years. Marijuana must be legalized for recreational use. That said, the recent calls for what to do with the revenue in that legalized industry are a bit premature and misplaced. When marijuana is finally legalized in New York, the top priority should then become the expunging of records for those whose lives have been ruined by past arrests and convictions. Those same individuals need to then have open access to succeed in this new marketplace.
Above any other considerations, revenue from that industry must be used to revitalize the very communities of more color that have been targeted by these unjust policies for too long. No proposal can be put ahead of the people who have been victimized for decades by the criminalization of black and brown communities as a result of prohibition."
Melissa Moore, New York State Deputy Director, Drug Policy Alliance, said "Given the legacy of immense harm caused by marijuana prohibition in New York - nearly one million New Yorkers have had contact with the criminal justice system under the marijuana arrest crusade - any effort to legalize marijuana must be responsive to the damage perpetrated on individuals and neighborhoods and invest in rebuilding communities as the state closes the book on its shameful war on marijuana."