Last night a bill was introduced to the NYS Assembly and Senate that attempts to address some of the criminal justice issues related to marijuana possession.
This bill DOES NOT have our support. It is not actual decriminalization – it only addresses a very small piece of the problem that exists today.
New York State has already tried decriminalization and proved that it doesn’t work; we passed the 1977 Marijuana Decriminalization bill, and since then have made over 800,000 arrests for low-level marijuana related offenses.
This bill introduced is not enough. Our communities deserve more. This bill introduced last night doesn’t really decriminalize;
- it continues to criminalize public possession,
- it doesn’t have automatic sealing of records, and
- it doesn’t regulate the market
We still have a chance to pass the MRTA – but we need folks to KEEP CALLING AND EMAILING our leaders all day today. They will be working until midnight tonight, so don’t stop calling and emailing until Tuesday, June 18th at 12:01am.
1. Take 1 minute to email our leaders in New York State and urge them to pass the MRTA this week.
2. Use these numbers and script to call ALL DAY & NIGHT TO make sure legalization in NY is for ALL NEW YORKERS:
- Governor Cuomo: 518-474-8390
- Senator Stewart-Cousins: 518-455-2751 or 518-455-2585
- Assemblyman Heastie: 518-455-3791
“I’m a constituent from ________________ (say your neighborhood here). I support passing the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (S.1527/A.1617) immediately!
The bill introduced last night, S.6579/A.8420, does not do enough and will only encourage further criminalization of entire communities across our state.
Legalization in NY MUST follow what’s in the MRTA and expunge prior cannabis-related criminal records; address additional devastating impacts of marijuana criminalization in the fields of immigration, family law, housing, and employment.
Legalization in NY MUST follow what’s in the MRTA and include a social and economic equity plan that prioritizes both licenses and a small business incubator for people from communities most affected by criminalization.
Legalization in NY MUST follow what’s in the MRTA and allow for home cultivation of marijuana, for personal adult-use.
Legalization in NY MUST follow what’s in the MRTA and direct tax revenue from legal marijuana sales to be reinvested in communities most harmed by the war on drugs. The Community Grants Reinvestment Fund will fund job training, economic empowerment, youth development programming, and re-entry services and more.
Thank you for your time and know that NY is watching and counting on you to do the right thing.”
We wouldn’t be where we are today with all your support – we truly can’t thank you enough for all you’ve done to help move this bill forward, and for helping us with this final push to try and get our bill over the finish line.