Debate Swirls Over Budding Marijuana Business

NEW YORK:  Standing in Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem, Frank Mills puffs on a thinly rolled marijuana cigarette, exhaling a long thin stream of smoke towards downtown Manhattan.

“I’m celebrating,” said Mills, a native New Yorker whose governor recently proposed to decriminalise possession of under 15 grams of marijuana – a move that came just days after the November 4 midterm elections, when voters overwhelmingly embraced the legalisation of recreational marijuana in Oregon, Alaska, and the District of Columbia.

“Fifteen or 20 years ago, legalisation and decriminalisation would have seemed impossible,” said Mills, referring to the decades-long drug war that has led to the mass incarceration of Americans, disproportionally affecting African-American communities such as Harlem.

“But people have seen the effects, and they are finally saying enough.”