Activism

Legalized Cannabis That Benefits the People Is Within Our Grasp

There has never been a time like now for cannabis legalization in New York State. For years, Governor Andrew Cuomo was a committed prohibitionist who spouted the usual false messages about marijuana. However, now that it’s legal in Canada, Massachusetts and Vermont, and most of the states around us are moving towards legalization, the Governor realized that New York could be surrounded by legal cannabis on all sides. He announced his support for full legalization in December and is actively pushing to pass a legalization law before the summer.

The Republican majority in the State Senate blocked legalization during the many years that they controlled that part of the State government, but now the Democrats control the whole legislature. The only remaining obstacle to a good legalization law will be a failure of the people to demand it.

The struggle now is to make sure that the legalization law:

(a) gives the most opportunity to small businesses and especially people who’ve suffered criminalization, job loss and other forms of abuse under cannabis prohibition

(b) prevents big corporate interests from taking over the cannabis industry

(c) allows home cultivation of cannabis

(d) makes sure that the tax revenue from the cannabis market goes to communities that suffered most from prohibition.

Activists who’ve battled for legalization for decades are now putting their hearts and souls around the clock to fight for the rights of the people of this City to benefit fully from a newly-legal cannabis market.

The Cannabis Parade & Rally is the largest pro-legalization event in New York. It’s a major opportunity to show the strength of our community. Over the last few years, elected officials, political candidates and organized labor have marched with us and spoken publicly in support of legalization on our stage.

A Call for Support

A large turnout at the 2018 NYC Cannabis Parade & Rally in Union Square Park.

If you are for cannabis legalization – even if you don’t personally use it – we need you to support this event by organizing groups of your friends to march with us in the parade, coming to the rally in Union Square, making signs and banners, sharing our social media messages and donating what you can afford to help us cover our expenses.

We also ask you to support the advocacy organizations that are fighting for your rights, first and foremost the Start SMART campaign organized by the Drug Policy Alliance. (You can see the list of our coalition partners here.) The prohibitionist forces are also fighting hard to stop legalization. They are well-funded and well-organized. Don’t believe that real progressive change happens without hard work.

We are not talking about just the right to smoke weed. We’re talking about the Green Revolution in which humanity can benefit fully from the gifts of the cannabis plant, including medicine, fuel, textiles, building materials and a means to clean contaminated soil, save the forests and the oceans, and protect our atmosphere.

Legalization that works for the people of our City is within our grasp NOW.  It’s within your grasp. The more we can show that the people demand true reform, the more strength the legalization advocates and our representatives in government have to make it happen.