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Mark-Viverito says authorized marijuana might pay for NYC subway repairs

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New York Metropolis subway delays obtained you burdened? Relax and take a toke: authorized marijuana could be the reply to fixing town’s transit disaster, says Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Mark-Viverito, former speaker of the New York Metropolis Council and present candidate for public advocate, unveiled on Thursday her “Weed for Rails” plan, calling on state officers to legalize weed as a strategy to pay for subway repairs.

“Day by day after I take the subway, all I can suppose is, ‘Please let the practice be operating. Please don’t cease in between stations. Please don’t skip my cease,’” she stated at a press convention. “But our elected officers ignore the subway or battle with one another about it. Some don’t even use the MTA.”

This previous summer time, solely 68 % of New York Metropolis subway trains had been on time. In August, all however one morning rush hour was freed from any sign or mechanical points. And people delays are extra than simply an annoyance — New York Metropolis subway delays value practically $400 million in misplaced enterprise productiveness and wages.

And this whereas the MTA is cash-strapped, going through as much as $42 billion in excellent debt. However an untapped income, in accordance with Mark-Viverito, lies inside authorized marijuana.

In 2015, Colorado collected $135 million in authorized marijuana tax income. Within the first 5 days of retail marijuana in Massachusetts, the state’s two pot retailers bought greater than $2.2 million work of authorized marijuana merchandise.

“Given the dimensions of New York’s inhabitants, the marijuana market right here has the potential to yield $1.Three billion yearly,” in accordance with Mark-Viverito. “Throughout the subsequent legislative session, Weed for Rails lays out a plan for New York to legalize marijuana, put a minimum of 50 % of tax income right into a lock field particularly earmarked for transit enhancements and to offer a chance for redress for communities which have been most adversely affected by marijuana arrests.”

Weed for Rails: How might authorized marijuana repair the New York Metropolis subway?

Mark-Viverito’s Weed for Rails plan lays out 4 steps for fixing the New York Metropolis subway with the tax income from authorized marijuana.

1. As public advocate, Mark-Viverito submit a memorandum of help for authorized marijuana and manage a grassroots motion to push Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature to take action within the 2019 legislative session. Mark-Viverito has referred to as for authorized marijuana since 2014.

2. Mark-Viverito will then advocate for the state to make use of the authorized marijuana tax income to pay for New York Metropolis subway repairs, organising a “lockbox” designation a minimum of half of that income to public transit and doubtlessly minimizing future fare hikes.

3. Together with funding the MTA via authorized marijuana, Mark-Viverito needs to proper the wrongs of marijuana enforcement by expunging prison convictions for New Yorkers arrested for leisure weed use, prioritize ladies and minority-run companies within the new hashish financial system and create a fund to help nonprofits that educate enterprise administration to low-income communities.

4. The ultimate step can be “programmatic oversight,” in accordance with Mark-Viverito, together with public oversight hearings on marijuana enforcement and the implementation of the NYPD coverage that points tickets fairly than arrests for marijuana use.

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