Actress Cynthia Nixon has attempted to use the issue of marijuana legalization to help bolster her campaign for the Democratic nomination for the New York governor's election. But her latest strategy takes it to a whole new level.
Nixon's campaign is starting a contest for their supporters and the grand prize is a bong signed by Broad City stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. Nixon has advocated for marijuana legalization since the start of her campaign, and it's generated quite a bit of press for her. So the bong contest seems to be a logical extension of that platform.
“We’re big fans of Cynthia, so we’re helping her out in any way we can. And today, that means giving away a FREE BONG,” the Broad City actresses wrote. “For people who look like us, weed has effectively been legal for a long time. It’s time to legalize it for everyone else too.”
However, some people have questioned whether the contest is actually legal. Federal law says it's illegal to sell drug paraphernalia, and the government technically views bongs as "drug paraphernalia." Although it's highly unlikely that Nixon will be charged over the issue.
Others have criticized the contest for making light of a serious issue. Nixon's campaign website notes that minorities are at a much higher risk to be arrested for marijuana-related charges, and New York clergy members have said this contest belittles those statistics. The Mobilizing Preachers and Community accused the contest of making “a mockery of the serious underlying criminal justice issue at stake for black and brown children.”
Nixon is going up against incumbent New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. While some Democratic supporters accuse Cuomo of being too centrist, Cuomo is still polling at around 60 percent support for the party's nomination while Nixon has yet to reach even 30 percent, although the New York primary takes place in September so there is still some time to catch up.
Cuomo previously did not support legalizing recreational marijuana, but in the past few months seems to have changed his tune and has begun exploring the possibility of doing so. So even if Nixon doesn't win the nomination, her campaign to legalize marijuana may have made some impact on Cuomo's views on the issue.
(h/t New York Daily News)