"The sky hasn't fallen in those states that have legalized. It doesn't hurt that these laws generate a lot of economic growth in the way of new jobs, new small businesses and hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue that states could really use as they recover from COVID," said Karen O'Keefe, MPP's director of state policies.
"We’re very encouraged by the changes reflected in this substitute bill. This latest draft reflects real progress made over weeks of conversations with advocates and legislators," said DeVaughn Ward, MPP's senior legislative analyst.
PODCAST: On March 3, 2021, Perkins Coie Partner Barak Cohen moderated a panel to discuss the future of the cannabis industry. Panelists included Michelle Rutter Friberg, Deputy Director of Government Relations at the National Cannabis Industry Association; Steve Hawkins, Executive Director of the Marijuana Policy Project; Yoko Miyashita, Chief Executive Officer of Leafly; and Andrew Kline, Senior Counsel of Perkins Coie and former public policy director for the National Cannabis Industry Association. This recap focuses on discussion related to the federal perspective.
According to DeVaughn Ward, senior legislative counsel at the Marijuana Policy Project, "Communities of color have faced the brunt of the war on drugs, and legalization removes some restrictions based on marijuana convictions." However, he adds that it’s important to give those communities "market opportunities, for business ownership and employment in this new market space."
"The idea is to give them the greatest possibility to succeed within the market that’s going to be created in New York. It could be, at the end of the day, one of the strongest equity measures we’ve seen," said Steve Hawkins, MPP's executive director.
"More than two-thirds of Americans believe it's time to end prohibition and this move represents the latest example of elected officials joining the chorus of support for legalizing and regulating cannabis for adults," said Steve Hawkins, MPP's executive director.
"New Mexico legislators and advocates deserve a round of applause as they are on the verge of legalizing cannabis for adult use. This year is proving to be nothing short of monumental for the cannabis policy reform movement. State legislatures across the nation are recognizing the urgent need to end cannabis prohibition and are rising to the challenge," said Steve Hawkins, MPP's executive director.
"We applaud the New York Legislature and the tireless work of advocates for their commitment to ending cannabis prohibition through a social justice-centered approach. We expect 2021 to be a record-breaking year for legislatures legalizing cannabis," said Steve Hawkins, MPP's executive director.