Rights Groups, Unions Call for Ending Marijuana Prohibition

A coalition of major civil rights organizations, labor unions and other groups is calling on Congress to completely remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and divert revenue to communities which have been harmed by the enforcement of cannabis prohibition.

“Pass legislation de-scheduling marijuana with racial equity and justice reform elements,” reads one recommendation in a letter sent this week by the Leadership Conference on Human and Civil Rights outlining priorities for the coalition in the 116th Congress that begins in January 2019.

The group, including organizations like AARP, AFL-CIO, American Federation of Teachers, and League of Women Voters, wants lawmakers to “end federal prohibition in a way that acknowledges decades of harm faced by communities of color and low-income communities. ”

It also worries that bills to reform marijuana laws should “comprise reparative justice/reinvestment language for communities impacted” by directing revenue their way.

“We believe that these goals can and must be fulfilled during the first session of the 116th Congress,” the letter says of the coalition’s priorities overall, which also touch on policy areas like education, employment, housing, health care and immigration.

Inclusion of the marijuana descheduling recommendation doesn’t automatically mean that all of the individual groups in the Leadership Conference actively encourage it, but it does indicate that none of the main players opposed the measure strongly enough to fight for its exclusion from the joint letter.

Other members of the coalition include the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees union (AFSCME); Anti-Defamation League; American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); Human Rights Campaign; NAACP; National Education Association (NEA); National Organization for Women (NOW); and National Urban League.

“It’s great that a prestigious organization like the Leadership Conference is taking this position not only on marijuana reform, but seeing it as a racial justice issue and pushing for reform through that lens,” Michael Collins, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, which is also a member of the coalition, told Marijuana Moment.

“While the connected priorities don’t reflect the full agenda of all of our member organizations, they do highlight the issues which are at the peak of the coalition’s agenda,” the letter says.

The Leadership Conference, which was founded in 1950, includes over 200 organizations altogether, together with other members like Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, People for the American Way, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), and UAW.

This guide has been republished from Marijuana Moment below a content syndication agreement. Read the original article here.

Published at Fri, 14 Dec 2018 22:55:19 +0000

Posted in: News

Comments are closed.