As the state of New York considers legalizing recreational marijuana in the coming months, there's one other issue that seems to be influencing politicians to support the cause, and it involves the subway.
Many New York lawmakers are proposing to legalize marijuana as a way to fix the New York City subway. Starting last year, the state of the city's subways declined and now commuters often face lengthy delays. Subway officials say they need $40 billion to modernize the system, and they unfortunately can't make all the money on their own. They're already considering congestion pricing, a system where drivers pay a toll to enter the city's busiest neighborhoods, but many believe that may not be enough either. But that's where marijuana legalization comes in.
“The biggest issue we hear about as elected officials is the state of the subway system,” said Corey Johnson, the New York City Council speaker. “To be able to tie these things together is something that could be highly impactful and potentially transformative.”
The state of New York recently created a panel to devise ways to create revenue to help fund the subway modernization, and the panel says that marijuana legalization is definitely on their list.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has recently come around to supporting legalizing marijuana, and says a bill to do so will be introduced in the next legislative session for the state that begins in January. However a spokesperson for the governor said that there have not yet been discussions on whether to use marijuana tax revenue to help pay for the subway modernization.
If I know New Yorkers, if there's even a one percent chance that legalizing marijuana will make their trains run a little bit faster, they'll approve of it in a heartbeat.
(h/t New York Times)