New York City Comptroller Calls For Legalized Pot In New York City


tay
#1
New York City Comptroller John Liu is proposing a historic overhaul of the city's marijuana laws, believing that legalizing medical marijuana and allowing adults to possess an ounce of pot for recreational use would pump more than $400 million into the city's coffers.

The sweeping change, which would put New York at the forefront of a growing national debate over use of the drug, calls for recreational marijuana to be regulated and taxed like alcohol and tobacco.

Liu, the city's top financial officer who is also running for mayor, commissioned a report that finds that New York City has a $1.65 billion marijuana market. If a 20 percent excise tax and the standard 8.875 percent city sales tax is imposed on the pot sales, it would yield $400 million annually in revenue, Liu believes. Another $31 million could be saved a year in law enforcement and court costs.

"It is economically and socially just to tax it," Liu told the Associated Press in an interview Tuesday. "We can eliminate some of the criminal nature that surrounds the drug and obtain revenue from it."

The comptroller's plan, which likely faces stiff opposition from state lawmakers who would have to authorize it, calls for the state to oversee private businesses selling pot. Licenses would be required, fees would be charged, and using the drug in public or while driving would be prohibited.

Liu's team calculated that 900,000 city pot smokers spend about $2,000 a year on the drug. He is calling for the revenue surge to be used to reduce tuition at the City University of New York for city residents.


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John Liu Calls For Legalized Pot In New York City
 
Spade
Free Thinker
#2
Quick American fact...
Of the total world prison population, America's share is one quarter.
 

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