The RESPECT Resolution Seeks Restorative Justice

Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced The “RESPECT Resolution: Realizing Equitable & Sustainable Participation in Emerging Cannabis Trades” to elevate the importance of equity within the legal cannabis marketplace. The RESPECT Resolution seeks both economic and reparative justice, ensuring that disenfranchised communities will be able to benefit equally in the emerging legal and regulated industry.

“There’s no question that there is growing momentum – both within Congress and nationwide – for cannabis legalization. However, as we move into this new era, we must learn from the failed War on Drugs and ensure that entrepreneurs of color are included in this expanding industry. Due to unequal criminalization rates and disparities in access to capital, people of color are being locked out of the new and thriving legal cannabis trade,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “We need to address the systemic exclusion and discrimination at play. Otherwise, we will be prolonging and encouraging the injustices of the past – where brown men spend their lives in prison for cannabis, while white communities get rich off the industry. I encourage my colleagues to support the RESPECT Resolution, the first bill in Congress focused on building equity in the cannabis industry.”

As more and more states dial back the war on marijuana consumers, it is important that those who were impacted by this oppressive criminalization are able to see previous harms remedied and be provided the opportunity to participate in the benefits that come along with legalization and regulation.

It is absolutely crucial that future legalization efforts include avenues to expunge prior criminal convictions for actions which are now 100% legal. We sincerely appreciate Congresswoman Lee’s vision to facilitate those expungements at no cost to the individual. Currently, a complicated bureaucracy and unnecessary fees often prevent drug war victims from obtaining expungements and being able to fully participate in many aspects of civil society.

Send a message to your Representative now in support of The RESPECT Resolution.

13 thoughts

  1. We need more leaders to bridge the gap for legalization not only for those black and brown Americans who are disproportionately affected by drug enforcement, but for white people as well who must realize white people are also victims of racist policies and propaganda, leading to targeted often lethal community drug pushing such as for opioids and meth in white neighborhoods.

    Here is Dave Chapell in support of Ben Jealous running for governor of Maryland:

  2. Take Action!’-drug-war-power-grab?ms=2A1_1806SITSAHouse&utm_campaign=fy19advocacy&cid=70141000000k79IAAQ&utm_medium=email&utm_source=061418XD_SITSAHouseVote-SGA&eml_name=061418XD_SITSAHouseVote&eml_id=34719820&af=8KO47ecY7hO876FuQNyOJcHlJlY3ZyhYLUJHODq%2Bw1ij%2Fjbph4gNvuoPQd%2FCfAU%2BE7gBtOOk87yYmZa4wZWgMhbH1OlR7xvXJLWiUaftiPxr1eYj1yZ%2Fv7g5NzdGF%2BVyaWSl4ZWDKqIZExrqDotFYiKd9mI83TJoOGk6Q%2FcXyE8%3D&spMailingID=34719820&spUserID=NTY3OTU3NTA2Nzk5S0&spJobID=1301427137&spReportId=MTMwMTQyNzEzNwS2

    Friday Congress will vote on the SITSA Act that would give Jeff Sessions broad new regulatory powers to give drug sentence without Congressional approval, including banning ancient whole plant remedies for opioid addiction such as kratom.

    While Trump touts supporting the STATES Act on one hand he’s amping up the drug war on another. If you love America and freedom click on the links!!

  3. Stupid fucking white man.

    A racist rollout of marijuana prohibition, and a racist rollback of marijuana prohibition… That figures, it really does.

    We have known for a long time that marijuana prohibition is a racist policy enforced by racist power structures. I have long argued that one of the major benefits of ending marijuana prohibition would be to remove a cudgel from The Man’s racist, violent fist. I still think that is true, and that it represents valuable harm reduction.

    But, it would be unrealistic to think that simply disarming a man is sufficient to make him a man of peace.

    In other words, bluntly speaking, white man is still running marijuana prohibition, and even in retreat, white man is still racist.

    That is why I support this legislation. I hope you, too, will click on the link and send the letter.

    Get involved!

    1. Dain,
      Whoa, bro, pass the grass and hold the “fuckin” just a little. We’re tryin to legalize marijuana not feed the race wars.
      I see past your anger to know when youre right but weve got Congressman reading this blog occassionally and we need to represent.
      Barbara Lee can’t get no leverage going back to Congress like “Fuckin’ white people!” It would be funny, sure, I’d laugh, but she might not get enough cosigners for her bill is what I’m sayin.
      Of course, that’s comin from the same man on the same blog that once compared mj prohibition to prohibiting prostitution and said “tax that pu$$y.” …But I blame NORML editors for that, ya’ll shoulda had my back and scratched that out. You know that wasn’t written in appropriate context! (Lol.. I’m playing. I love the editing on this NORML blog. We truly walk the line between the 1st and 14th amendments around here).

      Remember when I suggested watching “The Free State of Jones”? Good movie. Mconnoghey was in rare performance if you can get passed thinking he was gonna bust out with “well alright, alight, alright” and just ruin the drama. Point is; Remember some poor white farmers stood up to the mob. They recognized the Civil War “feeds the rich and buries the poor” long before G&R ever sang it. Confederate soldiers went around straight up robbin white people in broad daylight in the name of the “war effort.” Some got fed up but were afraid to stand up. But Jones abandoned the pecking order of his white life, fled to the swamps of Mississippi, married a black woman and led a slave revolt, and successfully declared a free state. After the war he helped organize some of the first black voters in Mississippi at risk of his own life.

      1. “The Free State of Jones,” is a great flick, a true sleeper, enlightening me about a subject, alas, of which I had little knowledge, that is, anti-govt resistance within the Confederacy itself. That’s a part of history that’s rarely taught in our schools.

    2. As Dave Chapelle reminded us early this year after one of his signature routines stating “You are POOR. He’s fighting for ME…” he said “Martin Luther King knew that the civil rights movement would not succeed unless we recognized white people are victims of racist propaganda too.”

      Now Chapelle is walkin the walk helping Ben Jealous become the next governor of Maryland. Words are key but we lead by example. Marijuana is on the ballot in several key states this election season thanks to the work of a lot of hard working activists like ourselves and if we intend to encourage more Democrats to get out and vote like mj does we have to challenge ourselves to initiate more positive dialogue. Which I’ll admit, isn’t always easy. But in a world with such terrible role models in the DOJ and White House we owe it to the next generation to try.

  4. RESPECT is far reaching legislation to undo decades of harm from marijuana prohibition that has fallen on the shoulders of people of color. It focuses on restorative not punitive justice and offers opportunities to those most affected from racism and discrimination in the justice system. The concept of equity = equal access at last.

  5. Julian, I’ve never been real good at picking up on subtle hints… was it the “stupid fucking white man” comment which you think might be “off-putting”, as Leroy says, to potential white Democratic voters?

    Hmmm. Well, it puts Leroy off, apparently. But is that so bad? I don’t think Leroy and his kind will ever embrace a humanitarian agenda.

    I feel like I know commentor Jack Stinnett and the likes. I grew up among the alt-right forebears, like a human raised by wolves. I have learned that they find sincerity amusing and compassion contemptible. They think they’re slick. If you try to reason with them, they try to bullshit you.

    Maybe it is because I am white and redneck myself, but I have found that the only thing that ever wipes that shit-eating grin off their stupid faces is to call them out for the dumbass, racist, redneck crackers that they are, and that they choose to be. Then the grin vanishes; now they’re threatening to kick my ass. But at least we’re keeping it real!

    Think I am being too hard on them?

    1. Naw, brother by all means keep it real I’m just sayin hold the “fuckin’” not for Leroy’s sake but for Barbara Lee… remember were trying to get her bill set up to pass before a Democratic Congress next year and we don’t want to feed the trolls with comments like “fuckin white people.”

      Makes me think was there a worse comment by Leroy that got edited out? Hell I’m surprised they didn’t edit ME!

      1. Okay, just this one time, I’ll take it back.

        But I will NEVER stop saying “Fuck Trump.” Not until he is out of power.

      2. haha… ok, fair enough Dain. I guess we have to compromise somewhere.

        Although I still prefer to say “oppose” Trump, as in with an opposing Congress these midterms. People who “fuck” Trump end up in court and in nondisclosure agreements, or possibly not knowing whether they have “HIV” or “HPV.” That’s a brutal visual I don’t wish to imagine. And MJ reforming Congressional candidates and their positive message deserve more of our attention.

      3. President Trump is here to stay he has more work to do by Making America Great Again. President Trump has created the path to Legalize Marijuana in the United States. President Trump is a great man Great President Great Leader. Unlike Obama who signed the bill in to law to separate illegal animals from their coyotes.

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