New York's mayor, Bill de Blasio, and its first lady, Chirlane McCray, voiced their differing opinions about legalizing marijuana during an interview with the Breakfast Club this week.
“I believe we should legalize it, because I don’t think people should be penalized and punished for using it, but I think it should be highly regulated," McCray said.
McCray reflected on her own experiences smoking weed in her youth, and said she understood why some people fear marijuana, calling it a gateway drug.
“Anything can be a gateway drug, so if this is not highly regulated, and we don’t think about wellness of our young people, then they are very susceptible to being hooked on this,” she said. “I’ve lived through it … I loved marijuana when I was a young person, and I know it can be difficult to stop using."
De Blasio, however, said he wasn't so sure legalizing weed is a good idea.
"I'm not there yet for several reasons,” Blasio said. “You could definitely make the argument for why the current situation is ridiculous, but it doesn’t mean legalization suddenly makes the world a perfect place. Marijuana’s a very different drug than the others, and we should figure out where the hell we’re going first before we suddenly unleash this new reality.”
Although the couple disagreed on legalization, they both agreed that the corporation of weed is a bad thing.
“In some ways, it’s even worse if it’s a corporate dynamic [than a criminal dynamic], because look at the extent of the opioid crisis that was corporate driven," Blasio said. "Look at the tobacco crisis, look at how many people we lost. That was corporate driven."
According to the New York Daily News, most New Yorkers are one the first lady's side: in 2017, 60 percent of New Yorkers approved of legalizing marijuana.
You can catch the full interview below: