Written by Rita Thompson
The Black Lives Matter movement is sweeping the nation and the 2020 election is just around the corner.
With the future of the country increasingly uncertain, many are looking for ways to help change their fate.
This month, In a virtual town hall meeting held by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sander’s, and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, the senators highlighted the possible benefits of cannabis legalization, explaining, “When we talk about police department reform, we must end police officers continuing to arrest, search or jail the people in our country, predominantly people of color, for using marijuana.”
If you are looking to support cannabis legalization in your state, and beyond, see below for the Emerald’s list of easy ways to fight for change.
Understand what legalization means.
- The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has existed since 1970 as the main voice in public policy debate against prohibition. Visit NORML.org.
- Humble Bloom, founded by Solonje Burnett and Danniel Swatosh, is an immersive education and advocacy platform working to break cannabis stigma. Visit humblebloom.co.
Research your state’s current laws.
- The National Cannabis Industry Association’s (NCIA) map of state-by-state cannabis policies is a great place to start (note that cannabis continues to be an offense under federal law). Visit thecannabisindustry.org.
Consume canna-friendly media.
- MARY Magazine is a Black-owned lifestyle magazine exploring ways to educate and enlighten our society on cannabis culture. Visit mary-magazine.com.
Join organizations that promote cannabis legalization.
- Comfy Tree Enterprises, founded by Dr. Tiffany Bowden, provides business consultations to cannabis enthusiasts, start-ups, and established companies looking for advice. Visit comfytreelearnworld.com.
- Budding Solutions, founded by Shanita Penny, is an organization focused on changing the stigma around cannabis, and the lack of diversity in the industry. Visit buddingsolutions.net.
- Uplift Maryland, founded by Kevin Ford Jr., is a cannabis education and training organization seeking to end the stigma through diversity and inclusion. Visit upliftmaryland.co.
Attend legalization events and conferences.
- Cannabis Business Times offers a great list of events all over the country to learn, and support. Visit cannabisbusinesstimes.com.
Vote for cannabis reform.
- The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is a great resource to find out what pending legalization efforts you can support in your state. Visit mpp.org/issues
Vote for cannabis-friendly nominees.
- Find out which legislators in your area support cannabis legalization.
- Visit usvotefoundation.org for more information on election dates and deadlines.
Research cannabis reform measures in the 2021 election.
- Leafly offers a great voter’s guide which maps where each presidential nominee stands on cannabis legalization. Visit leafly.com.
Use Your Voice.
Contact your elected officials.
- Visit NORML’s contact list at norml.org/act/ to urge your governor to de-prioritize cannabis enforcement to protect public health during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Talk to others.
- Spread the word. Tell your friends and family what cannabis legalization means to you. Use your social media platform and organize press conferences.
- Health Europa offers a great resource to share on “20 Health Benefits of Cannabis that Everyone Should know.”
- Sen. Sanders and Sen. Booker’s recent virtual town hall meeting is a great reference for the benefits that cannabis legalization would have on racial injustices. Available for reference on YouTube and theemeraldmagainze.com.