Federal cannabis regulation, if done right, can be a tool for achieving health equity, social equity, justice and accountability. Federal reform provides a radically new opportunity to re-envision a world beyond prohibition by not only ending it, but also acknowledging and taking responsibility for the harm it has caused, beginning to repair the harms of the past, and taking action to prevent future systems of harm.
We at Drug Policy Alliance convened a working group comprised of cannabis state regulators, public health professionals, criminal justice reform advocates, civil rights attorneys, people working with directly impacted communities in the cannabis industry, re-entry advocates, academics and an expert involved in Canada’s cannabis regulation—to think deeply about how, ideally, marijuana laws should be changed at the federal level to accomplish these goals. The result of this process is a comprehensive set of recommendations for Congress that center reparative justice, social and health equity, and community reinvestment as the central goals of regulation, rather than a subset of larger policy reform.
Below we offer a snapshot of our recommendations to center health equity, social equity, justice, and accountability in federal cannabis regulation.
We must end the harms of cannabis prohibition by:
We must repair the harms of cannabis prohibition by:
We must prevent further harm by: