Cynthia Nixon Throws Down the Cannabis Gauntlet in NY Governor’s Race

By Andy Wagner

Cynthia Nixon is not the first in the entertainment industry to transition to the world of politics. Entertainers like Ronald Reagan and Sonny Bono each had successful political careers that lasted well beyond their careers as entertainers. Nixon is looking to make that transition this year as she runs for Governor of New York.

As with any campaign, Ms. Nixon was asked her position on a number of topics, including recreational cannabis. She recorded her poignant response in a video she shared via Twitter. Although short in length, it spoke volumes to not only the issue of recreational cannabis, but who is being targeted for its use as well.

Nixon voiced her support for recreational cannabis, but she didn’t stop there. She vowed to end the racial stigma surrounding the black and Latino communities and cannabis use. She all but accused the current New York State and federal government of unfairly targeting blacks and Latinos for “something white people do with immunity.”

She’s not wrong. Statistics wildly support her views. According to a Buzzfeed report:
“Even though research shows people of all races are about equally likely to have broken the law by growing, smoking, or selling marijuana, black people are much more likely to have been arrested for it. Black people are much more likely to have ended up with a criminal record because of it. And every state that has legalized medical or recreational marijuana bans people with drug felonies from working at, owning, investing in, or sitting on the board of a cannabis business. After having borne the brunt of the “war on drugs,” black Americans are now largely missing out on the economic opportunities created by legalization.”

The ACLU also published a report in June 2013 that claims blacks are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for a cannabis-related offense than whites, despite using cannabis at roughly the same rates. Although this report is nearly five years old now, these trends do not seem to be stopping anytime soon.

Ms. Nixon asserts that “for white people, the use of [cannabis] has effectively been legal for a long time.” She promises to end the “racist war on drugs” and use the cannabis industry to put people to work in its farming, cultivation, extraction, and sales. She also sees the potential revenue generated from its regulation and taxation as a funding source for programs to help individuals convicted of cannabis-related crimes rebuild their lives.

Cynthia Nixon put her Sex and the City days of running around New York City with Carrie and Samantha behind her. With her gubernatorial campaign, she is proving to be a true heavyweight contender in the political ring. She is set to challenge New York’s establishment all the way to the governor’s mansion. We will find out on November 6 if her strong words and bold stance will win her the race.