IMPROVING CANNABIS REFORM
The 21st century has seen rapid change in the legal landscape of cannabis prohibition, but reform has often proceeded through ballot measures or other means that do not consistently address criminal justice concerns. The primary focal point for most new state cannabis laws has been the prospective regulation of cannabis production, distribution, and access. With a few exceptions, state cannabis reforms have not addressed individual and structural harms that have resulted from prohibitionist policies and their disproportionate burden on certain populations.
The intersection of cannabis reform and equity concerns is starting to garner more attention. However, despite the vital importance and great interest in the intersection of cannabis reform and equity, social justice, and public health concerns, little has been done to collate information on how these considerations are being integrated into existing cannabis legislation or regulation. Even less is known about what works and what doesn’t when these mechanisms are implemented on the ground. Yet, information about best (and problematic) practices is vital to advance the work of a wide array of advocates, policymaker and other stakeholders who are -- or can be -- motivated to integrate successful approaches into future cannabis reform efforts.
What We are Doing
Identifying and mapping ways that existing cannabis reforms are designed to advance criminal justice reform, public health, and social/racial justice goals
Assessing the impact of various cannabis reform laws and proposals
Recommending legal reforms and programmatic practices to enhance cannabis reform as a means and catalyst for equity and public health goals