New York gubernatorial candidate and actress Cynthia Nixon suggested that legalizing marijuana on a statewide basis could, in effect, serve as "reparations" for African-Americans.
So ... how does she figure?
On Saturday, Nixon spoke at the Cannabis Parade in Union Square, and, according to Forbes, said that the state could, perhaps, give back to the black community by legalizing pot and ensuring that the black community received the first crack at obtaining marijuana licenses after legalization.
"Now that cannabis is exploding as an industry, we have to make sure that those communities that have been harmed and devastated by marijuana arrests get the first shot at this industry," Nixon explained. "We [must] prioritize [the black community] in terms of licenses. It’s a form of reparations."
"Arresting people – particularly people of color — for cannabis is the crown jewel in the racist war on drugs and we must pluck it down," Nixon told the crowd. "We must expunge people’s records; we must get people out of prison."
Nixon added that pot was a "racial justice issue" because of the amount of African-Americans are jailed on marijuana possession charges.
The Forbes report highlighted data obtained from the NYPD that reported, "black and brown people were nearly 10 times more likely to be arrested for pot possession last year, despite that white people are just as likely to use marijuana."
"People of color made up 86% of all marijuana arrests in 2017," the Forbes report added.
"The use of marijuana has been effectively legal for white people for a really long time," Nixon explained. “It’s time that we legalize it for everybody else."
Nixon is running as a Democrat against incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).
Her comments sparked the ire of Rev. Al Sharpton, who apparently took offense to her suggestion and aired his grievance about her remarks on Twitter.
On Monday, Sharpton wrote, "I’m for legalizing marijuana and I like Cynthia Nixon but putting pot shops in our communities is not reparations. Health care, education!!"
I’m for legalizing marijuana and I like Cynthia Nixon but putting pot shops in our communities is not reparations. Health care, education !!
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) May 7, 2018