ALBANY — Cynthia Nixon took heat Monday from black leaders over her comments that creating a legalized pot industry in New York could serve as a form of reparations in black communities.
Nixon on Saturday told Forbes magazine “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.”
“We (must) prioritize them in terms of licenses. It’s a form of reparations.”
The comments came under fire from some community leaders.
Manhattan Democratic Party Chairman Keith Wright, a former long-time state assemblyman from Harlem, said Nixon’s comment “is ill-informed, lacks understanding of the greatest crime in history, and should cease and desist.”
“Reparations is a repayment for the free labor that built this country,” said Wright, a former state Democratic party chairman under Gov. Cuomo.
“Ms. Nixon should relegate her comments to legalization, pro or con,” he said. “I believe social equity should be a part of licenses to sell marijuana, if and when legalization does occur. However, it is insulting to my soul, that the free labor that my ancestors gave to this country would be equated with the selling of marijuana.”