Economic and Social Justice Critical Considerations in Legalization of Marijuana
On March 26 and 28, following City Council’s sign-on to a letter in support legalization of Marijuana with certain conditions, I spoke to a number of our local news stations explaining our stand.
WROC, March 26, 2019 — Rochester City Council pens letter backing marijuana legalization with conditions
A bill to legalize marijuana in New York is coming down to final negotiations, to get it passed with the state budget by April first. Now, a local group of marijuana advocates is getting ready for an 11th-hour push, and they have the full support of the Rochester City Council.
“It's implementing an economic and social justice lens as part of the legislation,” said Mitchell Gruber, Rochester City Councilmember.
That's what essentially detailed in a letter sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo signed by the entire Rochester City Council. It states that the enforcement laws pertaining to marijuana is not only antiquated but has been racially biased for decades.
“There's some element of making sure people who have been charged marijuana possession have their records expunged but its also part of economic justice,” said Gruber.
Gruber said tax revenue funds should stay locally if this marijuana legislation is passed.
“What's critical is that this does not go back into the overall state fund, but rather that it has particular focuses, and I think, we think as a council that it should go back into cities,” said Gruber.
The remainder of WROC TV’s coverage and video for this story is available here.
WXXI, March 28, 2019 — Rochester City Council writes Cuomo in support of marijuana bill
Rochester City Council has sent a letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo in support of pot legalization in New York state. Councilman Mitch Gruber says legalizing marijuana could boost New York’s economy and tax revenue.
Gruber says the letter showed support for Buffalo-area Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes’ bill, which he says was written from a racial, social and economic justice lens.
“Fortunately, we can learn a lot from the mistakes those states have made, and I believe the legislation presented by Assembly Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes is a step in that direction.”
For additional coverage from WXXI, look here.
WHAM, March 28, 2019 — City council, Roc NORML push for legalization of marijuana to be 'done right'
"What we’re asking for now as the negotiations are happening that we make sure it's done right,” said Rochester City Council Member Mitch Gruber. “That we make sure this is something that goes back to impacting the cities that were most disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs."
Gruber says that work still needs to be done in Albany.
To read the full article, click here.
WDKX, March 30, 2019 — Roc NORML Pushes For Marijuana Legalization
Rochester City Council Member Mitch Gruber told 13WHAM News, “What we’re asking for now as the negotiations are happening that we make sure it’s done right. That we make sure this is something that goes back to impacting the cities that were most disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.”
Full coverage is located here.
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