Start SMART New York

Start SMART New York

Sensible Marijuana Access through Regulated Trade

Post #156

Marijuana Justice becomes Law in New York!

On March 30, 2021, the New York State Legislature overwhelmingly passed the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (S.854-A/A.1248-A). The following day Gov. Cuomo signed the bill into law. 

MRTA explainer with answers to frequently asked questions here

Enactment of the MRTA legalizes marijuana for adult use, addresses the harms of overcriminalization with automatic expungement and protections from discrimination, and establishes one of the most ambitious marijuana legalization programs in the nation with social equity and community reinvestment. It will also regulate the medical marijuana program and hemp/CBD farming, along with adult-use recreational cannabis, under the Office of Cannabis Management.

Press release from Sen. Krueger

Learn more about expungement and protections for immigrants

What Is Start SMART NY?

Start SMART NY – Sensible Marijuana Access through Regulated Trade – is the campaign dedicated to ending marijuana prohibition in New York. We believe that it is time to stop the ineffective, racially biased, and unjust enforcement of marijuana prohibition and to create a new, well-regulated, and inclusive marijuana industry that is rooted in racial and economic justice.

SMART for Communities

Creating a legal marijuana market in New York means we can better restrict minors’ access to marijuana, increase accessibility for those with medicinal needs, and reinvest in communities most harmed by prohibition.

SMART for Racial Justice

Ending marijuana prohibition in New York will combat the hyper-criminalization of communities of color and provide new opportunities for social and economic advancement.


SMART for NY's Economy

Establishing a legal market for adult marijuana use in New York and creating a system to tax and regulate marijuana will put state tax dollars to better use, create new jobs, and generate millions in tax revenue.

MARIJUANA: Equity. Justice. Reinvestment Conference

This groundbreaking conference explored how marijuana legalization in New York presents a unique and much-needed opportunity to create equity, economic justice, and work to restore communities most damaged by this country’s failed war on drugs.

View the conference recap and watch videos of the panels

Why Does NY Need Marijuana Justice?

Over the last twenty years, the enforcement of marijuana prohibition has devastated communities across the state of New York. It has been a tool for the hyper-criminalization of young people of color and has been the justification for unconstitutional policing practices. All of this has come at a great human and financial cost--the Start SMART NY campaign believes it is time to find another way.

The War on Drugs: From Prohibition to Gold Rush

This video, narrated by Jay Z, is part history lesson and part vision statement. Jay Z maps the devastation caused by the war on drugs and raises important questions about economic equity in the emerging above ground marijuana industry.

We are working to end prohibition in New York and establish a well-regulated and inclusive marijuana industry -- one that will create new jobs, foster small businesses, and generate millions in tax revenue. These funds will be used in part to reinvest in communities that have been most harmed by marijuana prohibition.

This video was created as a collaboration between Revolve Impact and the Drug Policy Alliance.

Sign the Petition

Do you want to encourage New York state to end prohibition and establish a legal, regulated market for marijuana?