Hip-hop artist turned cannabis entrepreneur Jay-Z has launched a national awareness campaign to highlight the political hypocrisy surrounding marijuana laws.
Having launched a cannabis brand called Monogram last year, the artist is now spreading his message with posters in Miami and across the U.S. The signs point out that prohibitionist cannabis laws are more widespread and harsh in some states than laws on bestiality and first-cousin marriage.
"It is morally wrong to continue to treat Alabamians who suffer from serious medical conditions as criminals for using a substance that is now legal in 36 states. However, we urge lawmakers to revise the provisions of the bill that create significant barriers for patients and their physicians," said Karen O'Keefe, MPP's director of state policies.
Olivia Naugle, a legislative analyst for MPP, said in an email to Marijuana Moment that the group “urges SB 708 to be amended to mirror Delegate Jazz Lewis’ HB 32 and for the legislature to swiftly pass it.”
"More than 60 percent of Alabamians think it should be legal for adults to use cannabis. Reducing Alabama’s penalty for cannabis possession to a fine-only criminal offense is a modest step forward, but it is a very important one. This bill would save thousands of individuals from the trauma of arrest and incarceration. We call on lawmakers to swiftly enact the bill," said Karen O'Keefe, MPP's director of state policies.
"You have 36 states including Arkansas, Louisiana, and Utah where these laws are working well and protecting the seriously ill and are not causing law enforcement problems," said Karen O'Keefe, MPP's director of state policies.
"Virginia legislators are proving that it is possible to work swiftly to pass legislation that would not only legalize cannabis, but also address the disproportionate harm caused by decades of prohibition,"said Steve Hawkins, MPP's executive director.
"Virginia is on the brink of becoming the 16th state to end cannabis prohibition and replace it with sensible legalization and regulation for adults 21 and over," said Steve Hawkins, MPP's executive director.
"People may experience sticker shock when the stores first open, and say, ‘I can get this cheaper from my guy I went to high school with.’ But both Colorado and Washington have higher taxes than are in this bill, and over time they’ve captured the vast majority of the market…The prices are much lower in the stores than from illicit sources," said Matt Simon, MPP's senior legislative analyst.
"Legislative leaders in Virginia deserve a big round of applause for their commitment to ending cannabis prohibition and replacing it with sensible regulation. There are still a few details that still need to be resolved in the legislation, but overall we are happy with the direction things appear to be going and hopeful that legislators will agree on a policy that works for all Virginians," said Matt Simon, MPP's senior legislative analyst.