"There is still a misconception among many policymakers that small-scale home cultivation of cannabis fuels the illicit market. The reality is that cannabis is difficult to grow and a person growing six to twelve plants at home has a negligible impact on the supply of cannabis in a state," said Matthew Schweich, MPP's deputy director.
Proponents say these efforts are needed to help minority entrepreneurs overcome barriers to licenses, capital and technical assistance that keep them out of legal cannabis markets. Tahir Johnson, director of social equity and inclusion for the Marijuana Policy Project, likened the range of programs to little laboratories that are finding out what's working. "None of them are perfect, but they are getting better and better," he said.
“We’re confident that we can collect enough signatures because we know that South Dakota voters are very motivated to put this back on the ballot if need be,” said Matthew Schweich, the campaign director for the group who also works with the Marijuana Policy Project. “Voters have had something taken away from them and our ballot petition is a means to get it back.”
"It’s better for the people selling cannabis, it’s better for the people buying cannabis, better for the people consuming cannabis, it’s better for communities," said Karen O'Keefe, MPP's director of state policies.
"Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have the opportunity and responsibility to come together and pass legislation to finally put an end to the decades-long failure that is federal cannabis prohibition," said Matthew Schweich, MPP's deputy director.
"Although two-thirds of New Jersey voters approved legalization last November, growing a single cannabis plant remains a third-degree crime, punishable by three to five years in prison," MPP said in a statement.
"What the safe banking bill does is it says, look, we're not going to punish banks that serve cannabis-oriented businesses. If we expect to see small businesses get into this industry at this point, we really have to have this protection in place," said Chris Lindsey, MPP's director of government relations.
An opinion piece from MPP Executive Director Steven Hawkins: Legalizing marijuana will put an end to one of the most pernicious justifications for the continued harassment, arrest, incarceration and death of POC in police custody.
"We are really enthusiastic to see the Senate majority leader put out a federal plan for legalization and we’re glad there’s this process because it is a complicated issue with all these systems of state regulation," said Karen O'Keefe, MPP's director of state policies.