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‘Weed for rails’ looks to legalize marijuana, use tax revenue to fix NYC’s broken subway system

NEW YORK — “Weed for rails,” a plan to legalize marijuana and use the tax revenue to fix New York City’s broken subway system, was unveiled Thursday.

Melissa Mark-Viverito, former City Council speaker and candidate for public advocate, unveiled her four-point plan outside the Nos. 4, 5 and 6 trains by the Brooklyn Bridge.

“Given the size of New York’s population, the marijuana market here could yield $1.3 billion a year that we can invest in our crumbling MTA, and it’s far past time to legalize marijuana—because for years, white New Yorkers have smoked marijuana with no repercussions, while black and brown New Yorkers are arrested,” Mark-Viverito said.

The first part of Mark-Viverito’s plan is advocating for the legalization of marijuana when and if she becomes the city’s public advocate.

She plans to then ensure taxes are applied to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s subway system.

“There will be ample tax revenues available,” Mark-Viverito said. “In 2015, Colorado collected more than $135 million in taxes and fees on medical and recreational marijuana. Sales in the state totaled over $996 million. One study estimated the likely California market for recreational marijuana between $15 and $20 billion in annual sales revenue.”

The third part of her plan aims to “address historical wrongs,” by passing making sure bills aimed at legalizing marijuana also include plans to expunge criminal convictions for people arrested for using the drug recreationally.

Mark-Viverito’s fourth point includes oversight over marijuana enforcement.
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