NY leaders urge Biden Administration to accelerate federal Marijuana decriminalization

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NY leaders urge Biden Administration to accelerate federal Marijuana decriminalization

Senator Gillibrand Urges Biden Administration to Decriminalize Marijuana federally.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is calling on the Biden Administration to do more when it comes to decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level. She wants the drug completely de-scheduled.

Malika Bellamy is the proud-licensed owner of the all-female, family-owned and operated cannabis retailer Gotham Buds on 125th in Harlem.

"So many people enter into our doors, still sort of in fear," Bellamy said. "They'll ask questions, but sort of hush, hush. They're whispering."

New York's Office of Cannabis Management is working to allow New Yorkers to grow marijuana at home legally.

Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, which means residents in government housing can't grow it, and if you're caught outside state protection — you can't buy, sell or possess it.

While the drug is known to have medical and holistic benefits, it's still classified the same as opioids and methamphetamine. Bellamy and Gillibrand want to change that.

"It’s a plant, and no one should be criminalized for that." — Malika Bellamy

"It's still a generational issue too," Gillibrand said. "I think a lot of older generations, who were brought up during the war on drugs, cannot disassociate with that."

The War on Drugs failed, according to New York Congressman Jerry Nadler, who flanked Gillibrand – along with other elected officials – saying criminalizing marijuana happened in the early 1970s, and was used to target the antiwar left and Black people. 

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Region: New York

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