A 2015 policy agenda has urged New York State legislature to fix marijuana policies. The NYC Council wants to pass two historic law reforms, which include the Fairness and Equity Act and the MRTA, or the Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act. Melissa Mark, a speaker for the council, has shown support for the legalisation of marijuana, noting that it’s the first time it has been a part of the official agenda.
Sponsored by Daniel Squadron, the Fairness and Equity Act will fix the law in New York regarding decriminalization. It aims to amend punishments for the possession of small amounts of marijuana and unnecessary arrests on black and Latino New Yorkers. If this goes through, it would end prohibition in the area, instead regulating and controlling marijuana as a taxable substance, much like in Colorado. Under the law, it would only be available to those 21 years of age or over. Like in other taxable states, millions of dollars in tax revenue would be generated, as well as savings of millions in the criminal justice department.
This is a pivotal movement for drug reforms. Marijuana legalisation reforms have been passed in Oregon, Alaska and Washington, with lesser reforms put into place in New Jersey and California.
And now New York’s council has shown that they understand the unfairness in criminalising minorities in New York for an activity that doesn’t actually pose any broad health threat to the public. Many hope that the council will pass this legislation so that people can move forward and the city can worry about bigger issues.