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Legalized Marijuana Advocates Rally In Albany

Office of N.Y. State Senator Liz Krueger
N.Y. State Sen. Liz Krueger speaks alongside advocates of legalized marijuana at a rally for the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act at the Capitol on Monday.

Advocates for legalizing marijuana in New York State rallied at the State Capitol, as the legislative session draws to a close.

Supporters say the public backs legalizing marijuana and it would provide needed revenue for the state through its regulation and taxation. State Senator Liz Krueger, who represents parts of Manhattan’s Upper East Side, also portrayed it as a criminal justice issue.

“How many people smoke marijuana in this country? Millions and millions and millions. Who are the only people who end up in our criminal justice system because they smoke marijuana? Black and brown people. That’s right.”

The measure stands little chance of passage in the State Senate, though, and Governor Cuomo has not been a supporter.

New York does permit the use of marijuana for limited medical purposes. 

Karen has covered state government and politics for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 New York and Connecticut stations, since 1990. She is also a regular contributor to the statewide public television program about New York State government, New York Now. She appears on the reporter’s roundtable segment, and interviews newsmakers.