Lawmakers Propose How To Spend Marijuana Revenue, Before Drug Is Legal

December 06, 2018 - 6:46 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Recreational marijuana isn’t legal In New York, but local politicians are already making proposals on how to spend the money the drug would bring in.

Melissa Mark-Viverito, the former City Council Speaker and current candidate for Public Advocate, wants to use the tax dollars made off of marijuana — if and when — it becomes legal to pay for subway upgrades.

However, City Comptroller Scott Stringer believes the money generated by the drug’s sale should benefit the communities most impacted by prosecution of marijuana cases.

“In four of the five highest ranking neighborhoods by arrest rate the unemployment rate exceeds ten percent,” Stringer says.

He claims the legalization of recreational marijuana will create a whole new industry and create a class of new millionaires. Though,  the city comptroller says lawmakers cannot forget about the people most victimized by punitive drug laws.

“While I do want to find revenue sources to save the subway, I don't want the people who were really left in such a bad way to be ignored by the gold rush,” Stringer told WCBS 880.

A new study released Wednesday advocated for New York City to legalize marijuana in order to help pay for improvements to the city’s transportation network.

Mitchell Moss, director of NYU’s Rubin Center for Transportation, also agreed, saying New York should take the hundreds of millions in yearly tax revenues from legal pot and put it into modernizing the subway system.

It’s believed that legalizing recreational marijuana in New York could bring in as much as $700 million per year.