Labor Union Urges Biden To End Marijuana Prohibition, Protect Workers, Prevent Monopolies

Zinger Key Points
  • As for the racial justice aspects of marijuana reform, the UFCW recommends repealing federal criminal penalties.
  • The letter was addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland and HSS Secretary Xavier Becerra.

A labor union wants the Biden administration to end federal marijuana prohibition and implement policies to protect cannabis workers and prevent industry monopolies.

Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), addressed a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland and U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra, calling for comprehensive cannabis reform, reported Marijuana Moment.

See Also: Federal Cannabis Scheduling Decision Expected 'This Year,' Says Biden's Health Secretary

"Should Congress or the Biden Administration deschedule cannabis without any health and safety, labor, and equity provisions, we run the risk of creating an industry with the same inequities that persist throughout our economy, while ignoring an opportunity to repair the harms caused by the War on Drugs," Perrone wrote.

Among the priorities for President Joe Biden to consider:

  • Robust labor protections for cannabis workers,
  • Complete removal from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA),
  • Prevention of monopolies in the industry, and
  • Comprehensive addressing of the damages caused by the War on Drugs, particularly in communities of color.

See Also: 2 Years After Sessions Rescinded Cole Memo, Prosecutors Continue To Adhere To Obama-Era Enforcement Guidelines

The UFCW also emphasized specific policies, including:

  • Granting state-legal cannabis businesses access to traditional financial services
  • Implementing national workplace safety standards
  • Funding longitudinal studies on cannabis exposure effects
  • Reinstating Obama-era federal guidance for cannabis prosecutions.

The UFCW argued that full descheduling is necessary to prevent industry dominance by a few corporations. It also called for alignment between federal and state laws to accommodate the unique needs and policy goals of individual states that have legalized cannabis.

As for the racial justice aspects of marijuana reform, the UFCW recommends repealing federal criminal penalties, implementing automatic expungement for prior convictions, funding state expungement programs, and limiting the collateral consequences of cannabis use or convictions.

Read More: Attorney General Garland Says Justice Dept. Intends To Address Cannabis Issues

Photo: Courtesy of Aaron Burden On Unsplash

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Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsPoliticsMarketsGeneralBiden AdministrationControlled Substances ActHHS Secretary Xavier BecerraMarc PerroneMerrick GarlandObamaU.S. Health and Human ServicesUnited Food and Commercial Workers International Union
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