Kristen Davis: Why I Support Legalizing Marijuana Now
When economic recessions decimate state coffers, politicians usually turn to their traditional streams of revenue to replenish their budgets. In other words, they raise taxes and strain the very system that is already overburdened. Currently, New Yorkers carry one of the highest tax burdens in the country, and city and local budgets all over the state are straining for every dollar. It is clear that New York State has reached critical mass in the taxation of its citizenry. New York needs innovation and recent developments in California can serve as a model for our state.
Californians who use marijuana are asking the government to tax and regulate its use as a potential solution to their current budget crisis. New York should follow suit.
I know talk of legalization of pot immediately sets off a clamor among the anti-drug crowd, but their rhetoric is generally exaggerated, erroneous or plain wrong. They are misinformed and the unfounded fears surrounding marijuana use has stuffed our prisons full of nonviolent people and saddled our state with outlandish incarceration costs for decades. The demonization of marijuana must stop. There is a plethora of scientific opinions that debunk marijuana myths, but the true tragedy is that marijuana criminalization has been an epic failure.