John Liu Wants to Legalize Weed in NYC

August 14, 2013 | Andy Cush

Facing lagging poll numbers just a month out from primary elections, NYC Comprtroller and 2013 mayoral candidate John Liu just played a political wildcard. Yesterday, said he’d like to see cannabis legalized for recreational and medicinal use, with tax dollars going to lower tuition at City University of New York schools.

A report commissioned by Liu found the city has a $1.65 billion market for the leaf, with the potential for $400 million in yearly tax revenue. With that in mind, Liu would like to see possession of an ounce legalized for adults, taxed under the city’s standard sales tax.

As the AP points out, Liu wouldn’t have the authority to legalize pot as mayor. Legislation would have to be passed by state lawmakers and signed by Governor Cuomo, who opposes legalization, even of medicinal weed.

Liu, for his part, claims personal use didn’t impact his decision. “I’ve never thought of smoking marijuana, and I don’t have any plans to do so,” he told NY1, “certainly when it’s illegal and even when it’s regulated.”