Marijuana: Justice, Equity, Reinvestment

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About this session

Governor Cuomo has said he prioritizes legalizing marijuana, but how do we center the communities that were most impacted by prohibition? How can we ensure that the green rush in New York is actually a justice rush? Legalization presents a unique and much-needed opportunity to create equity, economic justice, and work to restore communities most harmed by NY’s war on drugs. Legalization--in terms of both tax revenue reinvestment and direct ownership/employment--can positively impact economic stability in communities that have traditionally struggled economically because of structural factors--but only if regulations and policies intentionally center diversity and inclusion. Panelists will discuss which policies MUST be included in legalization to address past harms, create equity in the industry, and invest in communities that were targets of devastating enforcement.

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Sheena Pachon

Medical marijuana and mental health patient advocate

Raybblin Vargas

Board member

Jawanza Williams, VOCAL-NY

Director of Organizing