In the fight to end cannabis prohibition throughout the United States, Mayors and Governors play a big role – and fortunately, many of them are stepping up in a big way.
A bipartisan group of Governors recently sent a letter to Congressional leadership expressing support for the newly-introduced Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Entrusting States (STATES) Act.
Just days later a group of mayors announced the creation of the Government for Responsible U.S. Cannabis Policy Coalition at the 86th annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Boston.
The Governors and Mayors involved with the two efforts recognize that federal cannabis prohibition has failed and that it’s time for a new approach.
Hopefully, more Governors and Mayors join the efforts and unite to help bring about legalization nationwide.
Which Governors recently sent a letter to Congress calling for federal reform?
The STATES Act, which 12 Governors recently urged Congress to pass, provides protections for cannabis businesses that are operating in accordance with state law.
Below are the Governors that signed the letter (which can be read in its entirety here):
- Gov. Phil Murphy (NJ)
- Gov. Bill Walker (AK)
- Gov. Jerry Brown (CA)
- Gov. John Hickenlooper (CO)
- Gov. Larry Hogan (MD)
- Gov. Charlie Baker (MA)
- Gov. Brian Sandoval (NV)
- Gov. Doug Burgum (ND)
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo (NY)
- Gov. Tom Wolf (PA)
- Gov. Kate Brown (OR)
- Gov. Jay Inslee (WA)
“I support Senator Warren’s and Senator Gardner’s efforts to entrust states with the ability to protect patients, providers and businesses, as New Jersey seeks to expand marijuana for both medical and adult use.” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.
Governors do not control federal law, but they can still make a big difference by supporting federal reform efforts by showing unity.
Which Mayors are part of the Government for Responsible U.S. Cannabis Policy Coalition?
The Government for Responsible U.S. Cannabis Policy Coalition was created to ‘proactively prepare governments for implementation of legalized marijuana.’
“We all will face common challenges when it comes to legalizing marijuana, and those challenges need federal solutions so implementation can be done smoothly, safely and effectively.” said Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock.
Mayor Hancock was the first U.S. Mayor to launch locally legalized adult-use cannabis. He helped launch the coalition along with:
- Mark Farrell, Mayor of San Francisco, CA
- Jenny A. Durkan, Mayor of Seattle, WA
- Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland, CA
- Ted Wheeler, Mayor of Portland, OR
- Heidi Williams, Mayor of Thornton, CO
One of the coalition’s goals is to share the best practices among local governments to help advance responsible local control over cannabis.
Successful cannabis businesses generate local tax revenue and create jobs, which is something that every Mayor in the country should support.
Urge your Mayor and Governor to support federal cannabis reform efforts
If your Governor is not on the list above, please reach out to them right now and urge them to get on board with supporting the STATES Act.
Suggest that they contact their counterparts from the states listed above to discuss with other Governors how cannabis reform is working in their states.
Also, urge your Mayor to join the Government for Responsible U.S. Cannabis Policy Coalition.
Legalization is coming, and local governments would be well advised to get ahead of the public policy change.
Cannabis should be regulated at the state level, and not at the federal level. That’s a public policy position that Mayors and Governors should definitely want to support.
Step up and do your part by urging your Mayor and Governor to get on the right side of history, and if they already are, be sure to thank them!
Our friends at NORML have created a super-handy Action Center, where you can contact your local leaders instantly.