Congressional Democrats Elevate Marijuana Equity Issues At Retreat Panel Focused On Legalization

Congressional Democrats Elevate Marijuana Equity Issues At Retreat Panel Focused On Legalization
MJ moment

Democratic congressional lawmakers convened for a policy retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday that featured a panel on advancing marijuana reform with a focus on promoting equity, multiple sources familiar with the closed-to-press session told Marijuana Moment. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) moderated the cannabis panel, which largely centered on the need to ensure that those most impacted by prohibition can benefit from federal legalization. The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, sponsored by House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), was specifically discussed as advocates push for a floor vote on the proposal this month. A Democratic congressional staffer familiar with the panel told Marijuana Moment that “the congresswoman’s feeling is still that racial justice and restorative justice needs to be at the centerpiece of any cannabis legislation that we put forward,” referring to Lee. Notably, the event took place the day after the Democratic-controlled House approved a large-scale spending bill that continues a long-standing appropriations rider blocking Washington, D.C. from allowing cannabis commerce despite local voters’ approval of legalization at the ballot in 2014. Despite that legislative setback for reform, sources emphasized that the panel discussion at the retreat focused on ensuring that equity is a focal point of any broader legalization legislation that advances on Capitol Hill. Supernova Women Executive Director Amber Senter, who is a constituent of Lee’s and participated on the panel, told Marijuana Moment that there was extensive discussion about equity programs and clearing up misconceptions about who would qualify for equity benefits under proposed legalization legislation. “I’m an operator and owner of a cannabis business in Oakland. And I wanted the lawmakers to understand the difference between social equity and black business,” she said, “because a lot of the lawmakers believe that they’re all the same—that if you’re a black person, you qualify for social equity, and…

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Source : Congressional Democrats Elevate Marijuana Equity Issues At Retreat Panel Focused On Legalization

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