While cannabis justice did not make it into Governor Cuomo's budget, we still have a chance at victory. We can win the passage of the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (S.1527/A.1617) to legalize adult-use cannabis in a way that centers racial and economic justice. In Rochester alone, from 2010 to 2018, 1,396 people were arrested for low-level marijuana possession. Not only is this the 5th highest rate in the state, but 92% of those arrested were Black or Latinx, even though the population of Monroe County is 77% white.
Rochester is a clear example of why we need to make our government take a crucial step towards ending the War on the Drugs, and the disproportionate policing, abuse, and incarceration of our Black, Brown, immigrant, and low-income communities this war enables. Join us in Albany with the Start SMART NY Coalition on Thursday, June 13th to make this final push!
A legal and regulated adult-use cannabis industry that centers racial and economic justice will:
- Potentially create a $1.7 - $3.5 billion industry that focuses on local businesses and creates total employment between 30,700 and 43,400 employees that have the opportunity to unionize for fair pay, benefits, and job security.
- Potentially generate millions of tax revenue that can be used to improve our communities -- especially those disproportionately harmed by cannabis prohibition -- through funding job training and re-entry programs, sustaining and improving public schools, increasing and improving drug treatment programs for those that need them, and public education campaigns geared towards responsible use, reducing overdoses, and saving lives.
- Expunge records for cannabis convictions so that people with convictions do not continue to suffer consequences for the previous prohibition of cannabis.
- Allow adult consumers to make informed purchases in safe environments.
So get on the bus for the last cannabis lobby and action day in Albany this summer! We will gather at 5:45 AM to board a bus at a location that will be determined shortly. Transportation and lunch is free. We will return to Rochester by approximately 7:30 PM. RSVP as soon as possible!
Google map and directions