Activists want pot tax money used for people impacted by drugs

Mar 15, 2019

Credit wnyc.org

If recreational pot is legalized in New York, leaders from local activist groups want some of the expected tax revenue to go back to the communities impacted by drugs.

That’s one of the topics of discussion Friday night at the Town Hall on Equitable Marijuana legislation at the Visual Studies Workshop.

Metro Justice President Aaron Micheau is one of the event’s organizers. He would like to see licences for marijuana businesses in neighborhoods impacted by drugs be given priority. He says the new revenue could create jobs.

“One of the areas of mediation might be for example would be providing support for licensing so that the marijuana industry is not taken over by large corporations with lots of money,” Micheau said.

Micheau also says the new tax revenue should fund schools, and that people convicted of marijuana crimes should have them removed from their criminal record.

“We’re asking for retroactivity of marijuana crimes that are going to be legal after legalization so we’ll have those convictions not just overturned but expunged from the records,” Micheau said.

Along with Metro Justice, representatives from Roc NORML, Citizen Action of New York, 1199 SEIU Upstate NY, ROCitizen, Rochester Democratic Socialists of America, and Rochester Voices of Community Activists and leaders are all scheduled to appear.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says pot legalization remains a priority but it will likely not be a part the upcoming budget which is due April 1.