New York City Mayoral Candidates - Who's for Pot?

From top, clockwise: Ray McGuire, Maya Wiley, Shaun Donovan, Andrew Yang, Kathryn Garcia, Dianne Morales, Eric Adams and Scott Stringer. (Image via New York Times)

The New York City mayoral race early voting began June 12. The primary date is June 22.

There are eight major candidates. Here's where they stand on cannabis:


Eric Adams

He's a former member of NYPD and the State Senate and current Brooklyn Borough President. There are no references to cannabis or criminal justice at his campaign website. Asked the last time he used cannabis, Adams did not answer.

In the June 11 debate, he said:

"I'm concerned about the marijuana laws altogether. These laws can impact on your behavior. It can impair your judgement."


Shaun Donovan

He's a former Obama cabinet member (secretary of HUD) and director of the OMB. His plan for New York includes a section on criminal justice; cannabis and drugs are not mentioned. Asked the last time he used cannabis, Donovan responded: "I haven't smoked in decades - since my two boys were born."


Kathryn Garcia

She's the former commissioner of New York's Department of Sanitation. In a section on criminal-justice reform at her campaign website, it reads:

"Use tax revenues generated from marijuana for community reinvestment to communities that were over burdened by over-policing to pay for intervention and alternatives to incarceration programs. Automatically clear past criminal records for marijuana possession. Create a social equity and education plan for licenses that prioritizes communities harmed by marijuana enforcement."

Asked the last time she used cannabis, Garcia said she "avoids marijuana."

In the June 11 debate, she said:

"I'm pleased that we've legalized marijuana because it did fall too hard on our Black and brown communities."


Ray McGuire

He's the former head of global corporate and investment banking at Citigroup and a Citi Foundation board member. The Economy section of his campaign website devotes significant space to cannabis, though it has not been updated to reflect the fact New York state recently passed legalization. 

It reads, in part:

"Ray will leverage his financial expertise and relationships, as well as all the tools at the disposal of city government, to help individuals in communities impacted by criminalization start cannabis companies and create good paying jobs for their neighbors."

Asked the last time he used cannabis, McGuire didn't answer.


Dianne Morales

She's a former New York City school teacher and has worked with various community groups. In the Green Justice section of her campaign website, it states:

"Dianne is committed to being the first Mayor of NYC to... ensure those most impacted by the legal system aren’t prevented from thriving within the [cannabis] industry."

Asked the last time she used cannabis, Morales said she prefers edibles.


Scott Stringer

He's the current New York City Comptroller and former Manhattan Borough President and State Assembly Person. There are no references to cannabis or drug policy in the Safety and Justice section of his campaign website.

Asked the last time he used cannabis, Stringer said, "Three decades ago."

In the June 11 debate, he said: "It's not enough to just legalize marijuana.

"The question is who's going to be selling cannabis and who's going to profit from it?"


Maya Wiley

She's a lawyer and counsel to Mayor Bill deBlasio and has worked with ACLU and NAACP. In the Criminal Justice Reform section of her campaign website, no references are made to cannabis or drug policy.

Asked the last time she used cannabis, Wiley didn't answer.

In the June 11 debate, she said:

"It is critically important that we legalized it."


Andrew Yang

He ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 and founded Venture for America. There are no references to cannabis or criminal justice at his campagin website

In 2020, he said, "Marijuana should be legalized nationwide... This would improve safety, social equity and generate tens of billions of dollars in new revenue based on legal cannabis businesses."

About his own personal use, Yang said he doesn't: “I was a pretty geeky Asian dude and, you know, my parents did a pretty good job of keeping me steering clear of certain things. I have many friends who partake.”

In the June 11 debate, he said:

"I'm thrilled that New York State is legalizing marijuana."


Mayoral Ranking

Based on statements on the various candidates' websites, Garcia and McGuire would be the best for cannabis, followed by Morales and Yang. The candidates' comments should also be considered.

The New York election is ranked choice, meaning you can vote for your top five candidates. Our curent slate is: Wiley, Yang, Garcia, McGuire and Morales.


Other Races

CelebStoner also endorses:

• NYC Public Advocate - Jumaane Williams (he's the incumbant)

NYC Comptroller - State Sen. Brian Benjamin, Council Member Brad Lander

Bronx Borough President  - Assembly Member Nathalia Fernandez

• NYC Council District 11 - Mino Lori


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.