New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) is the latest 2020 presidential candidate to throw their hat in the ring. Here's where he stands on cannabis.
Mayor de Blasio has positioned himself as one of the more vocal proponents of Governor Andrew Cuomo's plan to legalize recreational cannabis in New York over the past year. And De Blasio hasn't just paid lip service to the idea either. Over the years, he's made a number of moves that have advanced marijuana reform in New York City.
Back in 2014, De Blasio implemented a new policy where people caught with a small amount of marijuana would be issued a summons instead of being arrested. This same policy was also applied to public consumption of cannabis last year. He also made a commitment to not deport undocumented residents who were caught with small amounts of cannabis, even as President Trump was cracking down on illegal immigration.
However, while De Blasio's more recent marijuana policies have seen a large decline in the overall arrests for cannabis use and possession, there is a prominent racial disparity in the number of cannabis arrests that are still being made. As of last September, Black and Latinx individuals still accounted for 80 percent of summonses issued by New York police, and De Blasio has been criticized for not doing enough to curb this trend.
De Blasio also received mixed responses for his plan to use taxes generated from the legal sale of cannabis to fund much needed improvements to the city's subway system. While some advocates are okay with using a portion of the city's cannabis revenue to repair the subway line, others have argued that all of that money should be used to fund projects in communities most affected by the War on Drugs.
De Blasio's support for broader cannabis legalization is also relatively new. Up until last year, he maintained that he was not prepared to support legalization.
However, given his most recent actions on the matter, voters could be confident that a De Blasio presidency would be supportive of wider federal cannabis reform, though he may not take the lead on such policy changes.
h/t Marijuana Moment