John Boehner Backs Marijuana Legalization

Lena Tucker
April 13, 2018

On Wednesday, Cynthia Nixon released a video stating that legalizing marijuana is one of her campaign issues as she runs for governor of NY. Furthermore, Boehner said he has spent years studying the issues facing the criminal justice system in the country, which makes him believe that legalization makes sense now. "There are a lot of good reasons for legalizing marijuana, but for me, it comes down to this". She emphasized that 80 percent of New Yorkers arrested for cannabis use are black or Latino, "despite the fact that whites and people of color use marijuana at roughly the same rates". The legislators are paying attention to the massive taxes coming into legal states, reduction in opioid use and deaths in those states, and many new jobs being created.

Even if Nixon doesn't win the nomination, hopefully her campaign will help motivate Cuomo to embrace more progressive ideals, such as marijuana legalization.

While Nixon has spoken out about recreational legalization in NY before, this discussion on how it correlates to the issue of racial inequality is particularly refreshing and needed. They focused particularly on the view of a large majority of Americans that cannabis should be legalized on a federal level.

In 2016, he lent his support to the referendum that led to legalization of recreational marijuana in his home state. "Politicians have traditionally lagged behind the people on this issue, so it is wonderful to see one so adamantly opposed to legalization reversing course like this", Morgan Fox, Director of Communications for the Marijuana Policy Project, said to NPR. He may face a fight in the legislature, but he has meanwhile announced an expansion of the state's medical marijuana program.

Back in NY, the Nixon candidacy is clearly putting more pressure on Cuomo - and represents much more of an insurgent phenomenon than Jersey's Murphy.

"I think we're actually ahead on it", Cuomo said. New York City's former City Council speaker Christine Quinn last week dissed Nixon as an "unqualified lesbian" - a faux pas that completely backfired on her. Quinn (herself a lesbian) was forced to apologize in the subsequent outrage, while Nixon's campaign seized on the comments, and started selling "Unqualified Lesbian" T-shirts.

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