Practical insights for compliance and ethics professionals and commentary on the intersection of compliance and culture.

Round-up on justice issues with marijuana legalization

The ongoing discussion about marijuana legalization has gained great momentum and now must include vital justice considerations.  As the process of decriminalizing marijuana cultivation, use, and possession gains public acceptance, the scope of the discourse must widen to include racial and social justice reforms.  These issues are critical for understanding in the mixed progress of legalization, the efficacy and impact of enforcement trends, and ongoing requirements for regulatory design and social equity gains.

Cory Booker, US Senator from the state of New Jersey, is the author of the Marijuana Justice Act and has spoken repeatedly about the need for states to consider criminal justice reforms alongside medical and recreational marijuana legalization campaigns.  As states legalize future marijuana possession, use, and distribution but do not consider corrective action for people with previous criminal convictions they create an unjust and unfair double standard where legalization benefits one set of citizens and does not alleviate what Senator Booker refers to as “collateral consequences” that seriously impair another set.

Check out this powerful post from Senator Booker which explains that expungement and community advocacy must be attendant goals to legalization in order to both change the future criminal justice system as well as restore and reinvest in those individuals and areas which have been harmed by past enforcement and prohibition practices.

For more on issues of justice, restoration, advocacy, fairness, and privilege in marijuana legalization efforts, check out these links:

For more on marijuana legalization, check out this post.  For other perspectives on the meaning of justice and ethical pursuit of supporting and sustaining it, check out this post.

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