Our nation’s ongoing struggle with COVID-19 has highlighted the hypocrisy of federal cannabis prohibition:
- 27 states designated their respective cannabis businesses as “essential” during the pandemic lockdowns.
- 24 states have permitted patient-friendly regulatory changes for cannabis, such as curbside pickups for patients and increased availability of telemedicine options for cannabis recommendations from physicians.
- Tens of thousands of Americans sit in jail for cannabis offenses
Think about that. People are in jail for the possession and sale of a product that is now considered “essential business” during a pandemic. Those people are much more likely to be people of color. The criminalization of cannabis has had a direct and disparate impact on minority communities. This reality is unjust and intolerable. Here’s what we must do:
Cannabis Legalization Objectives
Take cannabis off the Schedule 1 designation:The science tells us that cannabis does not meet the Schedule 1 standard for being “dangerous” and having “no medicinal value.”
Allow for the widespread study of cannabis as well as regulation and taxation.Take cannabis out of the black market, increase state and local tax revenues during the pandemic downturn, and make it safer for consumers
Expunge the records of cannabis crimes.
Ensure that populations disparately impacted by the criminalization of cannabis are the same people that benefit from its legalization.
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