Month: June 2021

$302 Million in Oregon Cannabis Tax Revenue Set Aside for Drug Treatment, Harm Reduction, and Recovery Programs

“This is an opportunity for us to lead not only in our state but in the nation,” Oregon State Senator Floyd Prozanski.

As a pioneer in both cannabis and drug policy reforms, Oregon has been helping lead the rest of the nation since the becoming the first to decriminalize cannabis possession all the way back in 1973. As the third state to vote to end cannabis prohibition in 2014 and the first to end criminal punishments for personal drug possession in 2020, Oregonians are demonstrating like Portugal did over two decades ago, that the failed and harmful Drug War isn’t the only way, that a new approach is better; we can invest in people, instead of just more and more prisons. Following the passage of Measure 110 and its enacting legislation, Senate Bill 755, $302 million of the state’s cannabis tax revenue has been set aside for much-needed drug treatment, harm reduction, and recovery programs, over the next two years.

With $151 million a year going towards life-saving programs, the Oregon cannabis community can be proud to shop at local craft cannabis boutiques like Kind Leaf, knowing that your hard-earned money will be invested in improving lives. The Oregon Health Justice & Recovery Alliance, the coalition that spearheaded legislative efforts released a press release announcing the passage of SB 755:

Senate Bill 755, a bill that helps create and solidify a strong Measure 110 program, has passed both legislative chambers after a final vote today by the Oregon House of Representatives. The bill passed the House 39-15 and passed the Senate earlier this session 21-8. SB 755 received bipartisan support in both chambers.

SB 755 strengthens the Drug Addiction Treatment & Recovery Act by:

  • Creating access to lifesaving harm reduction and addiction recovery services in all 36 counties;
  • Streamlining processes for courts by sending verification of screening assessments electronically to the jurisdictional court;
  • Requiring that youth to be referred to the juvenile system for assessment and resources, rather than adult court;
  • Requiring the collection of data to better understand and address the needs of local communities; and
  • Designating a specific portion of Measure 110 grant funding to Tribes and other BIPOC communities most impacted by the War on Drugs.

As chief petitioner of the Measure 91 legalization law and one of the chief petitioners of Measure 110, I certainly have my biases, but Oregonians can be proud of taking a sledgehammer to the racist and classist War on Drugs. Our laws should be about people, not about the drugs. It’s easy to fearmonger, but in reality, what we want for our loved ones is a better policy than just arresting and jailing nonviolent drug users. I’m so proud that a majority of Oregon voters have seen through the smokescreen of prohibitionists and understand that providing treatment, harm reduction, and recovery services work more effectively than harmful criminal convictions.

I’m especially pleased that a specific portion of cannabis tax revenue is being allocated towards Indigenous Tribes, and the Black and Brown communities most harmed by the Drug War. It has warmed my heart reading about how the Miracles Club, Oregon’s only organization targeting the African American recovery community, has already received over $200,000 thanks to the passage of Measure 110. This first round of funding has allowed Miracles to hire three new peer mentors as well as additional support staff, with the goal of turning the center into Portland’s first full-scale treatment facility tailored to communities of color.

The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Centro Latino Americano, La Clinica, Yellowhawk Tribal Health, Black Mental Health Oregon, and Northwest Instituto Latino de Adicciones were also some of the recipients specializing in helping BIPOC who received grants in the first wave of Measure 110 funding. So many organizations, such as these and the Alano Club of Portland, Outside In, the Portland People’s Outreach Project, Bridges to Change, and Central City Concern, literally doing life-saving work, will now be able to help more people thanks to Measure 110 and Senate Bill 755.

When you hear of prohibitionists seeking to repeal Measure 110, know that they are advocating for thousands of unnecessary drug possession arrests that disproportionately target people of color and the poor. These prohibitionists, if they get their way, will be taking funding away from treatment, harm reduction, and recovery organizations and setting our tax dollars on fire by giving it to the prison-industrial complex instead. Oregon voters have helped lead the way towards ending the Drug War, but we must be vigilant to protect our gains. But, it’s okay to celebrate how far we have come.

When you shop at Kind Leaf, Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique, you are getting the best selection of the best cannabis in the Great Northwest and supporting a small business that gives back to the local community. Come into our beautiful store or shop online via Leafly. Remember to check out our deals and know that we always provide discounts to military veterans, senior citizens, and OMMP patients.

Mexico’s Supreme Court Strikes Down Cannabis Prohibition, With a Catch for Now

“Historic day for freedoms. The right to free development of the personality is consolidated in the case of recreational or recreational use of marijuana. The Court reiterates and reaffirms that its only commitment is to the Constitution and that it acts with full independence and autonomy.” Mexican Supreme Court Judge Arturo Zaldivar Lelo de Larrea on his Twitter (translated). 

United States Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recently made headlines issuing a statement that called into question the justification of federal cannabis prohibition while the highest court in the land denied tax relief for a dispensary challenging the ridiculous 280E IRS tax code. Well, Mexico’s Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation outdid the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) by striking down personal cannabis prohibition after they gave Congress an April 30th deadline to legalize adult use. The landmark ruling is huge for the Mexican and global cannabis community and puts pressure on the Mexican Senate to pass a regulatory bill that has already been approved by the Lower House of Congress. As Yahoo News reports, the ruling doesn’t completely legalize cannabis:

“Pro-legalization campaigners said the Supreme Court ruling left cannabis users facing many uncertainties.

“Mexico United Against Crime, a non-governmental organization, said the decision ‘does not decriminalize the activities necessary to carry out consumption” such as production, possession and transportation of marijuana.’

“The ruling ‘leaves a legal vacuum with respect to the consumption, cultivation and distribution of cannabis,’ it added, calling on Congress to issue the necessary legislation.”

As The Guardian notes: “Adults wanting to cultivate and consume their own cannabis will be able to apply for permits from the health secretariat. Criminal penalties for possessing more than five grammes of marijuana or selling the drug remain in place.”

This ruling takes a sledgehammer to the War on Cannabis and the greater Drug War, but, as usual, there is still a lot of work to be done. Mexican legislators need to set up a framework that will allow small farmers and businesses to thrive and to allow adults the ability to cultivate their own personal gardens without too many regulatory hurdles. While there is more to do, this is a reason to celebrate and Mexico’s Supreme Court hasn’t just put more pressure on it’s own Senate, but on the United States Congress as well. Federal prohibition is already untenable in the U.S., it will only be more nonsensical when we share borders with two nations that have legalized. Step by step, state by state, nation by nation, common sense is on the march and we are closer to declaring a Drug Peace.

Kind Leaf applauds everyone around the globe that is advocating for freedom and equality for the cannabis community. Celebrate liberty this week and every week by venturing into Pendleton, Oregon’s premier craft cannabis boutique. We are proud to have the best selection and to offer great deals for everyone, especially military veterans, senior citizens, and OMMP patients. Check out the best selection in the Great Northwest in our beautiful air conditioned store or shop online via Leafly.

Justice Thomas Questions Prohibition as Supreme Court Denies 280E Cannabis Tax Relief

Craft cannabis boutiques like Kind Leaf, their customers, and local communities are hurt by the dreaded IRS 280E tax code that prohibits most normal business tax deductions for cannabis retailers. While the effective 70%+ tax burden is bad enough, the headlines about record-breaking sales often leads legislators, policymakers, and voters to support higher local taxes and fees (often aided by large multinational corporations that are better suited to withstand the unnecessary costs). Cannabis businesses are often forced to pass along expenses to their customers in an effort to stay in business while the headlines about the money being brought in by the industry provide a misleading picture of the real world economic situation. Unfortunately, the United States Supreme Court refused to hear Colorado dispensary Standing Akimbo‘s challenge of the unfair 280E tax burden, but one silver lining was Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion that questions federal cannabis prohibition altogether, as NBC News reported:

“Clarence Thomas, one of the Supreme Court‘s most conservative justices, said Monday that because of the hodgepodge of federal policies on marijuana, federal laws against its sale or cultivation may no longer make sense.

“‘A prohibition on interstate use or cultivation of marijuana may no longer be necessary or proper to support the federal government’s piecemeal approach,’ he wrote.

“His views came as the court declined to hear the appeal of a Colorado medical marijuana dispensary that was denied federal tax breaks that other businesses are allowed.”

Justice Thomas, from his statement:

“At issue here is a provision of the Tax Code that allows most businesses to calculate their taxable income by subtracting from their gross revenue the cost of goods sold and other ordinary and necessary business expenses, such as rent and employee salaries. But because of a public-policy provision in the Tax Code, companies that deal in controlled substances prohibited by federal law may subtract only the cost of goods sold, not the other ordinary
and necessary business expenses. See 26 U. S. C. §280E. Under this rule, a business that is still in the red after it
pays its workers and keeps the lights on might nonetheless owe substantial federal income tax.”

Justice Thomas is correct in concluding that cannabis businesses do not enjoy “equal treatment” under the law and that federal prohibition is un “unstable” policy that lacks coherence. Congress needs to step up and reform the IRS tax code and allow normal banking services. Hardworking small business owners and those that support them are unnecessarily seeing money flow to Washington, D.C., instead of remaining in their local communities where they can do the most good. Everyday we take a step closer to ending Reefer Madness prohibition, but common sense in government can certainly move at a snail’s pace far too often.

Kind Leaf’s Cannabis Selection Can Help You Beat the Oregon Heat Wave (Or at Least Take Your Mind Off of It)

The Western United States is entering a scorching heat wave, pushing temperatures above 110 degrees in Oregon. With record-breaking temperatures making a lot of activities, including doing nothing, plenty of folks will be escaping to the coast or other bodies of water while some will want to binge watch Netflix while enjoying air conditioning. Please please please take precautions and check on others to make sure that they are okay. KAPP/KVEW TV reports:

“Summer just started this week, but it already is the dog days of the season with an unprecedented heat wave coming to our region starting Friday at 2 p.m. until Thursday evening at least.

“This morning the National Weather Service upgraded the advisory to an Excessive Heat Warning.  A heat warning doesn’t go any higher.  From Ellensburg to Pendleton, expect highs between 105° to 114° between Friday and Thursday.

“Many all-time records are going to fall in the upcoming week.  Yakima should easily cruise by their record of 110° by Sunday or Monday.  The Tri-Cities may fall short of their 115°.”

Whether you are heading to the coast, your favorite swimming hole, or plan on finally watching The Wire or Breaking Bad over the heatwave, Kind Leaf should is a must stop for every cannabis connoisseur and newbie alike. Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique has the best selection in the Great Northwest and the knowledgeable staff will be able to assist you in making the right decision for your needs. Come on into the air-conditioned store, or shop online via Leafly. This week you can get 30% off of Captain Fantasy, Ghost Breath and Mint Cooks flower; Happy Kitchen Chocolate Bars and Estaweeda Granola; and Willamette Valley Alchemy Cartridges. While supplies last, you can also get 15% off of Timberline Haze and Citrus Sap flower; Serra Gumdrops and Magic Beverages; and Oregrown Badder and O-Pen Vapes. As always military veterans, senior citizens, and OMMP patients receive additional discounts. Please be safe and be kind out there!

Missourians for a New Approach Plan to Legalize Cannabis in the Heartland in 2022

With over 40% of our nation living in states that have legalized cannabis, our fight for freedom is reaching a tipping point where a majority of our citizens reside in states that have swept Reefer Madness prohibition into the dustbin of history. I’m so happy to see that the hardworking Missouri advocates that led the state’s medical marijuana campaign gearing up to place a full legalization initiative on the 2022 ballot. Legalization in Missouri will benefit the state by creating jobs, generating revenue, and better allocating law enforcement resources, but most importantly, a vast majority of racist and classist cannabis arrests will be a thing of the past.

I was fortunate to be mentored by longtime Missouri attorney and NORML board member Dan Viets over two decades ago, helping craft successful reform measures in Columbia AKA College Town USA. Dan has been helping lead the charge in Missouri for over 40 years and he apparently has no plans of slowing down. One of Dan’s best attributes is that he can keep things in perspective and knows that there can be be positive developments even when you suffer setbacks. Our first local campaign in Columbia together lost, but Viets and other advocates didn’t let that deter them from winning at the ballot box the following year and there have been so many ups and downs and twist and turns for activists, all across the state. Missourians for a New Approach had planned a to place a legalization question on the 2020 ballot, but the COVID crisis derailed signature gathering efforts. Viets, in his usual manner, saw benefits in the delay, as the Riverfront Times reported:

“But the extra time has given the campaign months to draft a better proposal for voters, says Dan Viets, who sits on the initiative’s draft committee and also serves as a Missouri state coordinator for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

“Among the provisions that have changed since 2020, Viets says that ‘the expungement provisions in this draft are going to be far broader, far more comprehensive, and far more helpful’ — and adds, ‘Some of the other provisions related to discrimination and employment, I would say they are also some the most important things that we’ve incorporated into this.’

“Another plus for the 2022 version? Viets says it won’t just be looking forward to an adult-use industry, but also incorporating lessons learned over the past months as Missouri’s burgeoning cannabis industry has gotten off the ground.”

I am so excited to see the unveiling of the new 2022 legalization measure and to do what I can to help the good folks in the Show-me State pass a common sense policy reform. It is easy to see that the Drug War has failed, especially the war on cannabis. With Illinois already enjoying record-setting profits, there is no reason for Missouri to send money out of the state when ending prohibition can bring more freedom, jobs, and revenue to America’s Heartland. Just as the headlines out of Illinois’ will impact Missouri, other surrounding states like Arkansas, Nebraska, and Iowa will all be influenced by future cannabis revenue numbers generated from Kansas City to St. Louis. A sincere thanks to those in the Show-me State that are continuing to fight the good fight in Middle America.

Kind Leaf thanks those that are fighting for freedom and common sense across the United States and around the globe. There are so many victories and reasons to celebrate and we’re happy to help you.

With Connecticut Passing Legalization, Nearly Half the Nation Has Ended Prohibition

“We had a chance to learn from others, and I think we’ve got it right here in the state of Connecticut,” Governor Ned Lamont.

The pace of cannabis legalization sweeping across the nation has accelerated at a rapid pace, with five states ending prohibition within its borders in recent months with Connecticut becoming the 19th state overall to go legal. Over 40% of our nation’s population now lives in a state with legalized cannabis, getting us towards a tipping point where federal prohibition remains even more nonsensical than it already does. As NPR reported, legislators and policymakers in Connecticut are touting the fact that they got to learn from other states when crafting their measure.

“‘I think it will be the most comprehensive and best cannabis legalization bill in the country,’ said House Majority Leader Jason Rojas, D-East Hartford. ‘History will tell us if that’s true or not, but I feel confident in saying yes, right now, this is the best bill in the country and it’s going to move us in a direction of ensuring that we provide a well-regulated marketplace for adult-use cannabis for adults who want to participate in that kind of activity.’

“The law allows individuals age 21 and older to possess or consume up to 1.5 ounces (42.5 grams) of “cannabis plant material” and up to 5 ounces (141.7 grams) in a locked container in a home or in the trunk or locked glove box in the person’s vehicle. Retail sales of recreational cannabis in Connecticut are not expected to begin until the summer of 2022, at the earliest.

“According to the Marijuana Policy Project, Connecticut is now the 19th state to end cannabis prohibition. The group, which advocated for the bill, noted the legislation sets aside 50% of licenses for equity applicants, which include residents of communities that have been “disproportionately impacted” by drug-related crimes and high unemployment. Also, up to 75% of revenue will be dedicated toward equity efforts and community reinvestment, the group said.”

Here in the Great Northwest, cannabis pioneers certainly would love to have some provisions enacted that later adopters have implemented, such as automatic expungement, equity provisions, the ability to have cannabis cafes and, for Washington State, home cultivation. It’s great to see other states build upon pioneers and those that have gone early must remain vigilant to press for much-needed improvements, shining a light on the advancements shown possible by the newbies. Congratulations, Connecticut cannabis community, take some time to celebrate, you deserve it. You, like all of us seeking to end the Drug War, will be back at work soon enough.

Kind Leaf believes that freedom-fighting advocates deserve to celebrate victories and there is no better place to help you celebrate than Kind Leaf, Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique.

Psychiatric Times Covers the Promising Future of Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy

The Psychiatric Times, a monthly medical trade association publication distributed to about 50,000 psychiatrists, posted a testimonial from Dr. Devon Christie, who is helping lead a important psychedelic therapy studies. A licensed therapist and family physician, Dr. Christie specializes in pain management and mental health. Operating out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, she is the director for Numinous Wellness that is seeking to provide evidence-based psychedelic therapies for a variety of conditions such as depression, PTSD, and addiction issues. As the Psychiatric Times notes:

“A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that mind-altering drugs, combined with psychotherapy, are effective treatments for some of the most stubborn psychiatric disorders.

“Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be exceptionally difficult to treat. But recent studies have suggested the efficacy of a surprising option: mind-altering drugs, in combination with psychotherapy.

“For PTSD, 3,4-methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine (MDMA) appears to be especially effective.”

In a Mental Health Minute, Devon Christie laid out the latest developments in the field and what might be in the future for psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. The first study, Dr. Christie discussed was a trial of 20 Canadians utilizing MDMA to combat PTSD. She also discussed a psilocybin-assisted pilot project that “utilizes motivational enhancement therapy for polysubstance use disorder.” And finally, she previewed a safety and feasibility study for a standardized psilocybin extraction from lab-cultivated mushrooms.

With an ongoing global mental health crisis, it is great to see psychedelics garnering more and more mainstream attention. Too many people are suffering when they don’t have to. It’s notable that the Psychiatric Times trade publication is shining a light on these new developments as the mainstream establishment doesn’t always warm up to new ideas that shake up the status quo. It’s very telling that one of the few opponents of the Measure 109 psilocybin initiative was the Oregon Psychiatric Physicians Association. I remember when the Oregon Medical Association and Oregon Nurses Association were big opponents of medicinal cannabis as well, but then ONA actually endorsed the Measure 110 drug decriminalization initiative, demonstrating that change can occur with new evidence and an open mind.

Kind Leaf is happy to help Oregonians feel better and enhance all of the fun trips folks take during the summertime and all seasons. Swing by Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique to see the best selection in the Great Northwest or you can even order online via Leafly. As always, discounts are available for military veterans, senior citizens, and Oregon Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP) patients.

The Last Racist NYPD Cannabis Arrests of its Prohibition Era Illustrate Why We Must End the Drug War

Even before Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs fifty years ago, our nation’s drug laws have disproportionately harmed people of color and the poor generally. Drug use rates are virtually identical across racial lines, yet Black and Brown communities are much more likely to suffer arrests, prosecutions, and imprisonment. And you hardly ever hear of wealthy Americans facing severe legal consequences for their drug use, even with multiple law enforcement encounters that would likely lead everyday folks to prison sentences. The last cannabis arrest report by the New York Police Department (NYPD) of the Empire State’s prohibition era shows the immense racial disparities of the law and really shine a light on why our nation needs to completely end the Drug War, as Marijuana Moment reported:

“Of the 3,687 possession-related summons issued from January through the end of March, for example, 2,374 were issued to black people, 1,089 were for hispanic people and just 102 were for white people. When it comes to arrests, 78 targeted black people, 70 involved hispanic people and just six white people were arrested for cannabis.

“That’s despite the fact that rates of consumption are comparable across those races.

“Put another way, black and hispanic people accounted for 94 percent of the total marijuana summonses and 91 percent of cannabis arrests in New York City last quarter—a rate that is greatly disproportionate to the racial makeup of the city’s population.”

Thankfully, New York has now legalized, eliminating most future cannabis arrests, but these racially disproportionate drug enforcement actions carry across all types of drugs. Clearly, the status quo of arresting and jailing people for personal drug possession has not worked. We need a new health-based approach, instead of a costly and harmful policy based on punishment people. Oregon has helped lead the way and important decriminalization laws have gained traction in other states such as California and Maine. While some prohibitionists want to go backwards and repeal our progress, we can’t let that happen. We need to invest in our people, not more prisons.

Celebrate cannabis freedom and our great state leading the fight against the Drug War by enjoying the best selection in the Great Northwest at Kind Leaf, Pendleton’s premier craft cannabis boutique. Come visit the store or order online via Leafly.

Oregon and Montana Senators Join Forces to Force SAFE Cannabis Banking Vote

Too many people, from voters to federally elected officials, don’t understand all of the difficulties facing small cannabis businesses. The media headlines highlighting promising job numbers and record-breaking revenue generation may skew the fact that the profit margins are slim (if any) and that small, craft cannabis boutiques like Kind Leaf are placed at an extreme disadvantage competing with huge, multinational corporations who are better equipped to handle burdensome hurdles like the ridiculous 280e IRS tax code and the lack of normal banking services. Fortunately Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley and Montana Senator Steve Daines have formed a bipartisan force for good, looking to force a vote on the much needed Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act as Marijuana Moment reported:

“In a letter sent to Senate Banking Committee Chairman Sherrod Brown (D-OH) on Thursday, Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Steve Daines (R-MT) urged a markup of their Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act, arguing that it would help address an urgent public safety issue.

“’This is not simply a matter of banking. The inability of these state-legal entities to bank their significant cash reserves is an issue of public safety,’ they wrote, citing cases of robberies and armed burglaries at dispensaries in both of their home states.

“’We owe this to our constituents to hold a markup on this bill and further the legislative process,’ the letter, which was also addressed to the panel’s ranking member, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), continues. ‘To foster success rather than gridlock, we believe this markup on S. 910 is necessary and should focus on policies with robust bipartisan support.’”

The SAFE Banking Act would ensure that banks and other financial institutions could work with state-regulaed cannabis clients without facing any federal penalties. Fear of violating U.S. law, even when the businesses are operating legally under state law, has kept a vast majority of banks and credit unions from working with the industry, forcing too many businesses to be cash-only, making them prime targets of criminals and creating unnecessary complications for all of the ancillary and regular businesses they must interact with, along with various regulators and tax collectors.

A lack of banking services has already caused too many traumatic consequences, including the tragic loss of a Portland-area budtender. It’s past time that Congress pass the SAFE Banking Act as the status quo only creates business inefficiencies and danger. Regardless of anyone’s stance on ending cannabis prohibition, it is imperative that a billion-dollar industry have access to bank accounts. A sincere thanks to Senators Merkley and Daines for reaching across the political divide to fight for their hard working constituents.

Kind Leaf is proud to give back to the local community and to always provide discounts to military veterans, senior citizens, and OMMP patients. Come on in to peruse the best selection in Oregon or order online via Leafly.

Cannabis Common Sense Is on the March as Connecticut Is Set Go Legal

“Today is a historic day, but tomorrow we’re right back to organizing for more sensible policies at every level of government,” Zachary Green, President of the  UConn Hartford Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP)

Freedom and cannabis common sense have been on the march state by state ever since California passed the Prop 215 medicinal measure all the way back in 1996. Since then, 35 more states have enacted medical laws while 18, along with Washington, D.C., have passed legalization laws. Additionally, four U.S. territories have medical while two have ended prohibition as well. Connecticut is now poised to be the 19th state to “just say no” to Reefer Madness as Governor Ned Lamont has stated that he will sign recently passed legislation that saw a lot of ups and downs and twists and turns throughout the legislative session as lawmakers hammered out various details, including some important social equity provisions.

NBC Connecticut reported:

“The Senate voted Thursday to legalize the recreational use of cannabis for adults in Connecticut, the final legislative action for a bill that lays the groundwork for the new industry in Connecticut and attempts to address racial inequities stemming from the nation’s war on drugs.

“The legislation, which passed on a 16 to 11 vote, now moves to Gov. Ned Lamont’s desk. Four Democrats joined all the Republicans in attendance in opposition. Nine senators were absent for the vote.

“The Democratic governor, whose administration helped to negotiate the final deal, is expected to sign it into law.”

Students for Sensible Drug Policy celebrated the most recent victory for the reform community in a press release:

“While stronger language surrounding equity in ownership is needed, it’s very encouraging to see substance use disorder and mental health treatment will have a dedicated fund that will receive 25% of tax revenues. That fund, plus the fact students would no longer be discriminated against through enrollment or penalization due to their cannabis use, is huge progress.” said Zachary Green, President of the  UConn Hartford Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) chapter, who helped mobilize a rally for legalization in April.

Some youth specific highlights of the bill include:

  • No arrests for possession for anyone under 18 
  • No discrimination against students who use medical cannabis
  • Schools must re-write their policies by January 2022 to equalize cannabis penalties with alcohol
  • Student athletes may not be penalized for failing a drug test for cannabis
  • No financial aid penalty for possession under 4 ounces

“SSDP’s youth and students across the globe are changing laws in their community. Connecticut is just the most recent example of SSDP members leading the fight for a more sensible world.” said Jason Ortiz, Executive Director of SSDP and resident of Connecticut, who was arrested for possession of cannabis as a high school student.

A sincere thanks to everyone that put in the work to lay the foundation for this most recent victory and sweated out the details through the legislative session. These political battles are stressful, with lives and livelihood hanging in the balance. Each state adds more momentum to ending federal prohibition and further reforming the failed and harmful Drug War.