NEW YORK – New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is calling on the Biden Administration to do more when it comes to decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level. She wants the drug completely de-scheduled.
Malika Bellamy is the proud-licensed owner of the all-female, family-owned and operated cannabis retailer Gotham Buds on 125th in Harlem.
“So many people enter into our doors, still sort of in fear,” Bellamy said. “They’ll ask questions, but sort of hush, hush. They’re whispering.”
Marijuana remains illegal at the federal level, which means residents in government housing can’t grow it, and if you’re caught outside state protection — you can’t buy, sell or possess it.
While the drug is known to have medical and holistic benefits, it’s still classified the same as opioids and methamphetamine. Bellamy and Gillibrand want to change that.
“It’s still a generational issue too,” Gillibrand said. “I think a lot of older generations, who were brought up during the war on drugs, cannot disassociate with that.”
The War on Drugs failed, according to New York Congressman Jerry Nadler, who flanked Gillibrand – along with other elected officials – saying criminalizing marijuana happened in the early 1970s, and was used to target the antiwar left and Black people.
“As a product of this very community that we are in, I can…