Gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon appeared at a Union Square rally following the Pro-Cannabis Parade last Saturday, urging full legalization of marijuana. Speaking to about 1,000 people Nixon cast her support as primarily driven by racial disparity in marijuana arrests, declaring that “I want to do it first and foremost because it’s a racial justice issue.”
Legalization has moved close to, if not quite right inside, the political mainstream in recent years. It’s still somewhat outside that mainstream with New York elected officials however, and that distance was reflected in the paucity of electeds and candidates appearing at this rally. Although the rally was fairly heavy on gubernatorial candidates, with Nixon, Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins and Reform Party hopeful Joel Giambra appearing, neither Andrew Cuomo or Marc Molinaro appeared or have voiced support for full legalization. Assembly Member Dick Gottfried, who proudly touted his 1975 bill that decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, and Council Member and candidate for lieutenant governor Jumaane Williams also spoke.