CynthiaÂ Nixon, who is famous for the role of straight-talkingÂ lawyer Miranda Hobbes in HBO’s Sex and theÂ City,Â announcedÂ her bidÂ to legalize marijuana as part of her campaign for governor of New York.
Nixon is running against currentÂ governor Andrew Cuomo, as the democratic nominee.
A lot of you have been asking about my position on marijuana. Here it is. pic.twitter.com/iEKLHgClFN
â€” Cynthia Nixon (@CynthiaNixon) 11 April 2018
In a video uploaded to twitter, Nixon promised to legalize marijuana as part of her efforts to reduce racial prejudice in the New York prison system.Â Nixon highlighted the racial injustice of recreational marijuana use in the state, sayingÂ that for white New Yorkers,Â marijuana has effectively been legal for a long time. She also called out the disproportionate amount of people ofÂ colorÂ currently imprisoned in New YorkÂ for marijuana relatedÂ offences, citing recent figures that show over 80% of New Yorkers arrested for public possession or smoking marijuana in 2017 were people of colour.
Nixon’s campaign has been focused around progressive politics,Â with her twitter bio describing her as aÂ ‘progressive advocate running for governor to fight for a better,Â more fairÂ New York’. She is also fightingÂ to bring more funding to New York public schools, as well as granting free college tuition to Dreamers and other immigrants who don’t currently qualify for the state’s free college tuition plan.Â Nixon’s efforts to decrease the number of people ofÂ colorÂ imprisoned for marijuana related offences is intertwined withÂ herÂ #SchoolsNotJailsÂ effort, to stopÂ funding cuts to New York’sÂ public-schoolÂ system introduced by Cuomo.Â Â Nixon hopes to tackle what she calls the ‘School to prison pipeline’, in which students ofÂ colorÂ are unnecessarily criminalized from a young age through theÂ currentÂ public-schoolÂ system, which makes them more vulnerable to becoming incarcerated.
Nixon specifically outlines the riskÂ non-citizensÂ faceÂ from the criminalization of marijuana.Â Although New York City is a ‘sanctuary city’ for undocumented immigrants, non-citizens presented with minor marijuana offences still faceÂ the risk of deportation.Â Nixon is also fighting to grant free college tuition to Dreamers and other immigrants who don’t currently qualify for the state’s free college tuition plan.
Nixon is running against current governor Andrew Cuomo for the democratic nominee, whoÂ has received strong support from the black community in the past.Â Cuomo has previously been against the legalization of recreational marijuana, however has recently stated that his stance could change.Â It has yet to be seen whether Nixon’s push to legalize marijuana will give her the upper hand over Cuomo with communities ofÂ color. Nixon has also addressed the housing crisis andÂ risingÂ gentrification affectingÂ black andÂ latinxÂ neighborhoods.Â Nixon’s ties to the LGBTQIA+ community may also help her in her efforts to become New York’s firstÂ gayÂ governor.
Nixon also highlighted the economic benefits of legalizing marijuana, which would result in hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue, as well as providing a boost to the agricultural industry in the U.SÂ Laws have been passed to legalizeÂ recreational marijuanaÂ use in Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont,Â Alaska, Colorado, Maine,Â California,Â as well as the country’s capital, Washington D.C.