Could A Marijuana Tax Save New York’s Subway?

December 05, 2018 - 3:11 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Could legalizing recreational marijuana improve the subways?

A new study released Wednesday advocates 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, agrees, saying New York should take the hundreds of millions in yearly tax revenues from legal pot and put it into modernizing the subway system.

“This would be a new revenue stream, we could dedicate it to mass transit, and it would be not tied to pain but to pleasure.” Moss explained.

It would not be uncommon to dedicate a certain amount of legal marijuana tax revenue to just one area of need, as some of the states that legalized marijuana already do just that.

“The biggest issue we hear about as elected officials is the state of the subway system,” the City Council speaker Corey Johnson told the New York Times. “To be able to tie these things together is something that could be highly impactful and potentially transformative.”

The MTA is asking for $40 billion over the course of ten years to pay for an overhaul of the subway’s signal system.

Legalizing pot in New York could bring in as much as $700 million per year, which could then be allocated to the MTA.