United States Mayors Conference Calls for Federal Legalization and Social Equity
The United States Conference of Mayors is the official non-partisan organization representing cities with populations of 30,000 or more, with those municipalities being represented by their mayors or another appointed official. At the organization’s 89th annual meeting, members passed a resolution to call on President Biden to legalize cannabis federally. The resolution also urges Biden to expunge prior cannabis convictions and remove obstacles to allow commercial sales of cannabis, emphasizing social equity.
The group pointed to patents owned by the United States government that recognize the medical value of cannabis and included statistics demonstrating the racial disparities in the enforcement of federal cannabis laws.
The governors suggest that the legal cannabis industry is on track to become a global multi-million dollar industry, citing sales already in the billions of dollars, contrasted by scant efforts at federal reforms. The resolution credited efforts on the state level to institute social equity provisions. However, the mayors opined that those efforts have “failed to create equitable market participation and leverage the benefits of diversity.”
The mayor’s resolution also suggested that “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,” and called on lawmakers to “create and update all public policies to reflect that cannabis is medicine and an effective treatment for a variety of health conditions,” while “amending policies to specifically protect cannabis patients from THC-based drug screening for access to employment and public resources such as housing, financial assistance, health care, and education.”
Calling on President Biden to legalize cannabis commercialization and sales for those 21 and over. The mayors suggested that the legalization framework include an equity-centered system of fair taxation, diversity in licensing, and a regulatory structure that “clearly and consistently ensures for a safe, accessible, equitable, and sustainable cannabis marketplace.”
The Conference of Mayors concluded by referencing recent efforts in the Senate to get a bill passed to federally de-schedule cannabis and create tax revenues from the sale of cannabis to generate the funds required to institute their demands.
With over 30,000 members, including the mayors of 14,000 cities, only three mayors voted against the motion.
Vivian McPeak is a Seattle based social justice activist, media personality, and writer. Vivian is the president of Seattle Events, a Non-Profit Organization, producer of the Seattle HEMPFEST®, the world’s largest annual cannabis policy reform rally. The recipient of the High Times Magazine 2012 Lester Grinspoon Lifetime Achievement Award and DOPE Magazine 2016 Emery Award for lifetime achievement, and in 2016 he was named one of the “50 Most Influential People” by Seattle Magazine. Vivian has appeared on numerous television and cable news networks, including FOX News, CNN, & NBC. McPeak is the host of Hempresent, a weekly radio podcast on Cannabis Radio with listeners on multiple continents.