Times are a-changing in New York. The state's marijuana laws may not yet have been reformed, but Nw York City Council members like Jumaane Williams are openly supporting such changes.
"I am for the full legalization of marijuana," Williams told the crowd who attended last night's Legalize Now NY fundraiser at the Bell House in Brooklyn. "We need to get ahead of the times. We've got to catch up to Washington and Colorado. There is only arbitrary reasons why we should keep marijuana illegal, while alcohol and tobacco are legal. There are a lot of young people who've been making money off of the underground economy by selling marijuana. It is important to me that when we win this legal victory, which we will, when we win medical legalized and when we win all marijuana legalized that the very people who have been making money off of selling this underground have the opportunity to sell it in a legal way. Black and brown people need to have first crack at opportunity to sell it in a legal way. We want to get them out of the underground. We want to give them an opportunity to be part of the legal economy. Do not leave black and brown people behind again. We will win this and we will win this together. Legalize it!"
Other speakers included City Council member Rafael Espinal, former deputy comptroller Ari Hoffnung, rapper Redman, "Ganja Granny" Arlene Williams and Jason Pinsky from United Cannabis. After the speeches, the following bands performed: Queen Majesty, Eris+Harmonia, Bikini Carwash, STRNGRS, Lovers Ramone and DJ Portarock. Also in attendance: Arthur McCallum, Joseph Bondy, Noah Potter, Paul DeRienzo, Michael Safir, Mary Jane Gibson, Jason Draizin and Jon Nicolozzo. The latter two parked their MarijuanaDoctors.com ambulance outside the venue.
Legalize Now NY is a PAC formed by political insider Hank Sheinkopf.