Anti-racism measure: New Yorkers are now allowed to smoke weed

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Anti-racism measure
New Yorkers are now allowed to smoke weed

The legalization of cannabis is a controversial issue in the United States. In New York, current legislation discriminates against non-whites. Now the state is legalizing marijuana for free use and wants to use it to advance the fight against structural racism.

After years of controversy, the New York State Parliament paved the way for marijuana legalization. The House of Commons in Albany passed a bill to this effect by 100 to 49 votes. Hours earlier, the Senate had also approved it with 40 to 23 votes. Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has yet to sign the law, called it “trend-setting” after it was passed.

The measure creates jobs and, above all, “remedies the injustice of decades of law that was disproportionately directed against non-whites,” wrote the House of Commons spokesman Carl E. Heastie on Twitter. The main reason for legalization is the fight against structural racism: the current cannabis legislation in New York had discriminated against non-whites. Although consumption is more or less evenly distributed, blacks were far more likely to be arrested for marijuana crimes.

“Cannabis legalization in New York will focus on justice, community investments, economic opportunities for historically disenfranchised people, research, education and public safety,” Albany majority leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said last week. She was the initiator of the legislation and is happy about the positive effects that legalization will have for many New Yorkers.

After Cuomo signs the law, New York, with a population of almost 20 million – and the metropolis of the same name – will become the 15th US state to allow marijuana for free use. According to estimates, this could create a billion-dollar market in the coming years, generating $ 350 million a year in additional tax revenue.

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