The Case for Legalizing Marijuana in NYC by Shawn Hudson [Poetic Thoughts #2]

Legalization of recreational and medical marijuana across the United States has been becoming a huge and well-timed trend, taking place over the last decade in states such as Colorado, Washington, California, Massachusetts, Maine, and a few others. There are benefits to legalizing Mary Jane and it becoming available to marijuana consumers. One benefit would be the decriminalization of marijuana. I have had friends that have been racially profiled for being marijuana smokers, so seeing marijuana decriminalized would be a welcoming site. The war on drugs itself is really just a war on people of color and poor people. African-Americans and Latinos were both punished harshly for possession of marijuana prior to the rapid legalization that we see before us today. People of color become victims of the judicial system’s unforgiving laws and biased practices, in many cases having felony convictions on their criminal record for possession of marijuana all the way back in the 1980’s and 1990’s.

If New York were to legalize marijuana, the job growth that could come from it would be extremely beneficial to residents of the city. To me, this is a great reason for New York to make the move and become like California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and the other states that have made legalization of cannabis not just a reality, but the norm. By the year 2021, the marijuana industry is projected to become a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States. Imagine what that could do for a city such as New York, having dispensaries throughout all five boroughs. Being a college graduate, I can tell you from personal experience that finding a steady and quality line of work to cover all of your expenses in this city is extremely difficult. With job growth, marijuana can generate an excellent revenue stream and the funds can go towards infrastructure or improving our outdated transit system.

Put simply, I believe that New York legislators have to step their game up and get with the times. When you have states like Colorado, Alaska and Maine showing New York up by not only legalizing marijuana, but using the money from it to clean their streets and fix their school system you have to ask yourself: Why in the hell has New York not jumped on the train and legalized marijuana?

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