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While Ms. Nixon's candidacy has attracted attention across NY and the country - Ms. Nixon, an actress, is best known for starring in the television show "Sex and the City" - polls suggest that she faces a steep climb in her challenge to Mr. Cuomo, a second-term incumbent with $30 million in campaign funds. Eighty percent of people arrested in NY for marijuana, Nixon said, are black or Latino.

Cynthia Nixon, the former "Sex and the City" star who is mounting a progressive challenge to New York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo in the upcoming state election, wants to legalize marijuana in NY.

"There are a lot of good reasons for legalising marijuana, but for me, it comes down to this: we have to stop putting people of colour in jail for something that white people do with impunity" Nixon explained in a video post. Cuomo called for a panel to investigate the possibility of recreational legalization in NY previous year (the state authorized medical marijuana in 2014), but before that he has been a longstanding opponent to legalization.

-These arrests can dog people forever, leading to job and housing difficulty, and even deportation for noncitizens. Now New York's governor finds himself running against a Nixon.

"A real Democrat doesn't slash taxes on the wealthy", she said.

Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized the recreational use of marijuana.

Quinn, 51, was the first lesbian to become Speaker and is still a notable political force, serving as Vice Chair of the New York State Democratic Committee. "Isn't it time we legalize it for everybody else?"

She added that marijuana has been essentially legal for white people and should therefore be legalized for all other individuals.

There are legislative proposals to legalize and regulate marijuana in NY.

Citizen Action announced its support for Nixon Tuesday.

Nixon's campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.