Cynthia Nixon says legalizing marijuana in New York is a racial justice issue

Cynthia Nixon wants to legalize weed in New York, and the actress running for governor is apparently making that one of the most pressing issues of her campaign.

Already running to the left of current New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Nixon said at a rally on Saturday that she wanted to make sure neighborhoods of color would get some of the first dibs at landing licenses to sell marijuana.

“If you are Black or Latino, you are 10 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis than if you are white. And that’s not right,” she told the crowd, via the New York Daily News. “It will follow you for the rest of your life, that arrest, and it will make it harder for you to get a job and it will make it harder for you to get a place to live.”

In fact, she told the newspaper that what she sees as a racial justice issue should be the top priority for the state.

“It’s really important for New York to be a progressive leader again,” she said.

Nixon announced her candidacy in March, and though she’s well behind in the polls—the New York Times reported last week that Cuomo had a 22-point lead on her—she seems to be making inroads with younger voters and she seems to be slowly closing the distance on the two-term incumbent.

More from the Times:

For Ms. Nixon, the survey showed that she has already gained traction among the Democratic base: She leads Mr. Cuomo 49 percent to 31 percent among Democrats who self-identified as “very liberal.” Her challenge: Only one in four Democrats identified themselves as “very liberal” in the poll, versus half who called themselves moderate or conservative.


The poll comes after a frenetic first five weeks of campaigning, as Ms. Nixon has attacked the governor in sharp and personal terms while rolling out some flashy progressive policy proposals.

Perhaps as a result of Nixon’s impact, Cuomo has begun leaning more toward the left during his campaign. Last month, Cuomo began speaking out in favor of possibly legalizing marijuana as well.

Josh Katzowitz

Josh Katzowitz

Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.