Members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors recently voted to call on President Joe Biden to federally legalize marijuana, expunge prior cannabis convictions and allow for commercial sales under a model that promotes social equity. The organization, which represents mayors of cities across the U.S., passed the comprehensive resolution as part of its 89th annual meeting late last month. It notes that the U.S. government has owned a patent recognizing the medical value of cannabis and cited statistics about the racially disparate impacts of criminalization. The cannabis industry “is likely to become a global multi-trillion dollar industry, with early U.S. sales already generating billions of dollars,” the organization said. But the mayors emphasized that people from communities targeted by prohibition enforcement are underrepresented in business ownership in state-legal markets and that cannabis equity initiatives that use race-neutral qualification standards in state and cities across the country have so far “failed to create equitable market participation and leverage the benefits of diversity. The group said, “the government is accountable for remediating all negative impacts of cannabis prohibition through every aspect of cannabis legalization and policy reform, specifically to ensure that communities disproportionately impacted by the prohibition of cannabis are able to benefit from this multi-billion dollar industry.”To that end, the group is calling on Congress and President Joe Biden to “remove cannabis, specifically delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9 THC) and its derivatives, from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of controlled substances, to end criminal penalties for cannabis possession and use, and to automatically expunge all past cannabis convictions, including resentencing and restoring all rights particularly voting rights,”.

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 09/13/2021 09:18:00

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