Cynthia Nixon, the actor who announced in March she will challenge New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, told attendees at a private fundraiser last week that she supports legalizing cannabis for adult use, the New York Times reports. According to Isabel Gillies, a writer and former actress who hosted the fundraiser for the Democratic challenger, said Nixon would “legalize marijuana and put a tax on it” if elected.
Dan Davenport, an editor and writer who also attended the event said that she was “very exuberant” about legalizing cannabis as a revenue generator.
Cuomo, a Democrat, has long opposed cannabis legalization for recreational use. Previously, Cuomo called cannabis a “gateway drug” and said he was “unconvinced on recreational marijuana.”
In January, Cuomo called on lawmakers to approve funding for a recreational cannabis feasibility study. Robert Mujica, the governor’s budget director, cited legalization in Massachusetts and Vermont as the impetus for the study.
A Republican gubernatorial hopeful also supports legalization. Former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra indicated he would support legalization as a way to address the state’s infrastructure problems.
Nixon has been a longtime education advocate in New York and legalization. In Colorado, taxes and fees from legal cannabis sales are partly used for education funding. According to a 2017 report from VS Strategies, 51.3 percent of the $506.1 million raised from the industry at the time was used for K-12 education, including $117.9 million for school construction projects, and $5.7 million for the Public School Fund. In Nevada, the state had collected $6.5 million from cannabis industry licensing and application fees as of Sept. 2017, which, after administrative costs, is used for public education funding.
Her campaign has not commented on the report.