Today, the Drug Policy Alliance released a memo to help cannabis businesses operate in a more socially responsible manner and to guide consumers and investors in making decisions related to the cannabis industry.
“Our work gave birth to the legal marijuana industry, but we’re increasingly at odds with well-resourced marijuana companies, for whom profits often come before measures to repair the harms of prohibition,” said Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Policymakers need to stand up to the pressure, but it’s also time for investors, consumers, and the industry itself to hold these actors accountable.”
The Drug Policy Alliance has played a pivotal role in marijuana legalization, first for medical purposes and then for all adults. California’s Proposition 64, which DPA played a key leadership role in drafting and passing in 2016, set a new bar for marijuana legalization, with provisions for record expungement, equity in licensing, and reinvestment in communities that have been most harmed. DPA is currently leading campaigns to legalize marijuana in New York, New Jersey, New Mexico, at the federal level, and beyond, with an emphasis on creating well-regulated and inclusive marijuana policies that are rooted in racial and economic justice.
“The harms of marijuana prohibition have been devastating, particularly for Black and Brown people who have suffered dramatic rates of arrest, mass criminalization, heavy-handed policing, seizure of property with little or no process, and large-scale deportations,” added McFarland. “Given this history, those investing and operating in the cannabis sector have some responsibility to support repairing the harms of prohibition.”