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People before (not instead of) profits
Why it matters to give the first-mover advantage in retail cannabis to people who've been crushed by our decades-long war on drugs.
Some positive news from New York State (even though I'm in Texas) for your Friday afternoon. The ongoing conversation about the legalization of marijuana as an opportunity for restorative justice for communities targeted by and hollowed out by our war on drugs is making headway. Today, Gov. Hochul announced that the first 100-200 retail cannabis licenses in NY will be granted to people who (or who have family members who) have a nonviolent drug conviction in their past. This program is what it looks like for leaders to put people first in economic policy:
Instead of narrowly building around the maximization of profit and pace of growth, here's an example of policy that elevates the people that make up the communities all around us. No limits on the economic potential overall, but an awareness of who benefits and how opportunity is distributed. Policy animated by a broad understanding of the intersections between community, commerce, justice, and history. Policy that demonstrates that commitment to the rule of law also demands a commitment to justice and a belief in the possibility of redemption. A good beginning.