July 19, 2024

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A 4/20 Call for Feds to Pursue Equitable Cannabis Legalization

3 min read

On April 20, the federal cannabis regulation working group, composed of cannabis regulators, public health experts, and proponents of criminal justice reform convened by the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), published a set of principles for pursuing a justice-based federal cannabis legalization policy and social justice.

These points include “dignity,” which affirms that cannabis producers and users deserve respect as members of society. “Racial Justice”, which calls for eradication and insists that new laws and tax revenues must be aimed at correcting the harms of the drug war against people of color; and “just and equitable ownership” of cannabis companies and general “equity” warning that legislation should not discriminate against groups that are already marginalized.

Other principles of the group include creating solid public education and research, restricting sales to minors, building existing government and medical programs, protecting the environment, and enabling cannabis cultivation at home outside of a tax system.

The signatories also call on the United States to encourage the United Nations to remove cannabis planning from all relevant global treaties.

“As we near federal marijuana legalization in the US, it is more urgent than ever to create a legal framework that both fully addresses the harms of the ban and ensures fair and equitable future outcomes,” said Queen Adesuyi manager for the office for national affairs the DPA said in a statement. “We have already seen the industry battle for the ability to self-regulate, and it is important that advocates – who represent the interests of those hardest hit by the ban and those in the best position To prevent future harm – set the agenda for how federal cannabis regulation should work. “

The momentum for many of the group’s goals is increasing. Last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promised that a federal legalization bill would appear “soon” in the Senate. He reiterated a claim he made late last month and vowed to finalize the plan he began in early 2021 not long after President Joe Biden took office.

A recent poll by the Pew Research Center found that an overwhelming majority of Americans – 91 percent – believe that cannabis should be legal in some form, a staggering reversal from decades ago. (According to Pew, “47 percent of boomers were in favor of legalizing marijuana in 1978, but support declined in the 1980s, hitting a low of 17 percent in 1990.” Since then, the number has grown steadily.) And more states keep fasting -follow the legalization of marijuana. A few weeks ago, New York legalized marijuana to reverse the damage caused by the drug war.

In nearby Pennsylvania, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman used April 20 as a reason to march with supporters to the steps of the State Capitol to hold a press conference urging lawmakers to decriminalize and legalize marijuana.

“This is a strong bipartisan problem and it is time to end the ban, correct the wrongs of the war on drugs, and reap Pennsylvania’s revenues, jobs, freedom and benefits for our farmers that are already more than a dozen.” other states are having a lot of fun, ”Fetterman said in a press release.

Meanwhile, Schumer in the Senate celebrated April 20 – “the very unofficial American holiday” – with a speech addressing Senators Ron Wyden and Cory Booker to end the federal marijuana ban.

“The war on drugs has too often been a war against people, especially people of skin color,” Schumer said, reassuring listeners that politics “will ensure restorative justice, public health, and responsible taxes and regulations.”

DPA previously made a limited grant to the Influence Foundation, which operates Filters, to support a diversity scholarship for drug war journalists.

Photo by Mark via Flickr / Creative Commons 2.0