Former New York City Council President Advocates for Marijuana Equity and Social Justice

Melissa Mark-Viverito speaks at CannaGather in New York as host Josh Weinstein looks on.

New York’s progressive former City Council President Melissa Mark-Viverito wants to be the city’s next Public Advocate. A special election will be held on Feb. 26. A total of 23 candidates are running. Five other current or former Council member are running.

Public Advocate is essentially a watchdog position. However, it’s second in line to the Mayor, which makes this a particularly important race.

Mark-Viverito made a campaign stop Jan. 22 at CannaGather, New York’s largest monthly meetup of marijuana enthusiasts.

Making Her Mark at CannaGather

She started by saying, “I’ve always been a supporter of the legalization of marijuana,” which is true. Before it was popular in New York, the three-term Council leader took that stance. “I support legalization primarily from a social justice perspective. I firmly believe in social equity and justice. We have to level the playing field and bring more equity.”

Now that legalization appears to be around the corner in New York State – Gov. Andrew Cuomo’a 191-page Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act (CRTA) was released Jan. 15 – Mark-Viverito wants to make sure the legislation helps “people who’ve been most impacted by

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