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Mayor DeBlasio Endorses Marijuana Legalization in New York...

Mayor Bill DeBlasio announced the findings of his marijuana task force

At a press conference on Thursday, December 20, New York City Mayor, Bill DeBlasio announced his support for marijuana legalization.

(Screencap: YouTube/NYC Mayor's Office)

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DeBlasio wants any kind of legalization to take into consideration missteps concerning corporate interests and criminal reform from other cities and states that have legalized weed

Mayor Bill de Blasio endorsed today what he calls "safe and fair" Marijuana legalization.

"We have once chance to get it right, and if we just legalize marijuana and don't deal with the underlying issues,we will look back and say what a lost opportunity it was," said DeBlasio.

At a press conference on Thursday, December 20, DeBlasio announced the findings from the report from his task force on Legalization which was convened in July 2018. The report recommends expunging past convictions for low-level marijuana crimes (subject to notice and opportunity by District Attorneys’ Offices), and creating opportunity for local small businesses.

“I commend the Mayor’s Task Force for its thorough and considered report, which looks at public safety and quality-of-life aspects of legalization of marijuana," said Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark in a statement. "The recommendations recognize the importance of having safeguards in place. The recommendations also dovetail with what my Office has been doing for the past three years, in terms of dismissing low-level quality of life offenses that have an impact on employment, housing and education opportunities. The time has come for the state legislature to seriously consider decriminalizing marijuana and providing a uniform approach to vacating marijuana convictions, to ensure fairness for residents of the Bronx and throughout New York State.”

The city would seek allow the majority of business licenses to be available to minority and low-income communities and advocates for working with state legislators to reduce the domination of corporations in the growing industry.

Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo also announced his support for marijuana legalization. DeBlasio urged Albany to consider the recommendations from the report as they craft legislation.