Actress Cynthia Nixon, who is running against incumbent New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in this year's Democratic primary election, has just announced that she supports cannabis legalization. At a recent fundraiser, the former Sex and the City actress told attendees that she would legalize and tax the sale of recreational marijuana if elected as governor.
At the event, Nixon "said that if marijuana is legal, we can tax it and make a lot of money from that," Julie Klam, an attendee of the event, told the New York Times. Dan Davenport, another attendee, described Nixon as "very exuberant" about the issue. Nixon announced her bid for governor only weeks ago, and this is the first mention of her support for cannabis reform. Other than this general promise, she has not provided any details regarding how she would approach legalization.
Recent polls have shown that the majority of New York voters support legalization, but Governor Cuomo, who is running again this year, has remained opposed to the prospect. While the incumbent governor still has a good chance of winning, the recent elections of governors who have promised cannabis reform, like New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, suggests that cannabis is an issue that could swing the vote against Cuomo.
"Cuomo's time in office has been defined by a string of indictments for corruption, his failure to fix the New York City subway, and his support for a backroom deal which handed Republicans control of the state Senate, resulting in the failure of numerous pieces of progressive legislation," Nixon said in a statement released last month, The Hill reports.
Nixon is not the only candidate who supports legalization in New York. Joel Giambra, an independent candidate in this year's race, has also pledged to work for cannabis reform if elected. Giambra has estimated that legal weed could bring the state $500 million a year in tax revenue, which he would allocate toward improving the state's crumbling infrastructure, as well as New York City's outdated public transportation system.
Legalization is a smart move for New York, considering that many of its neighbors, including Massachusetts and Canada, will have fully legal weed available this summer. In New Jersey, Gov. Murphy is also working hard on his campaign promise to legalize recreational cannabis this year, as well. If the Empire State does not create its own legal marijuana market, local law enforcement should expect to see some of this legal weed flooding across the border.