A new proposal called Weed for Rails—put forth by Melissa Mark-Viverito, a candidate for New York’s public advocate office and MTA Sustainability Advisory Working Group appointee—could put an end to your commute woes.
Or at least we really hope so.
Pointing out that the subway system has become a “major crisis,” Mark-Viverito hopes that by legalizing marijuana, the incoming revenue could be applied to saving the transit system.
“It’s about us saying, ‘This is a substantive source of revenue that a portion of it we can allocate to this critical infrastructure need, which impacts particularly low-income and working-class communities, who have limited options,'” she recently told VICE. “The remainder, we’ll invest and create opportunities in communities that have been overcriminalized and have been disproportionately impacted.”
Though the Public Advocate’s office isn’t a lawmaking position, as VICE points out, Mark-Viverito states that it can at least introduce legislation while acting as what she called a “bully pulpit.”
“Making the voice of the disillusioned New Yorkers who are frustrated, letting them know that there is someone in government that’s listening to them, and that is trying to force a debate and a conversation about how are we going to find a solution,” she said, citing how Cynthia Nixon made the MTA a focus of her campaign. “I think it was important for people to see that somebody cared about that—it’s something that people are frustrated about every day.”
Of course, there’s the seemingly never-ending debate between the mayor and the governor regarding who’s at fault for the whole subway mess in the first place. Mark-Viverito says she’s ready to cut to the chase.
“It’s a way of deflecting responsibility and accountability,” she added. “We have to all just figure out how we’re going to make this work. My thing is that this is cutting right through the middle of it, throwing a big and bold idea on the table, and like, let’s see what we do with this.”
Could Mary Jane be the answer? Read VICE’s interview in full here and stay tuned.