With Washington watching, Mass. lawmakers need to take greater lead in marijuana efforts

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The Globe editorial board is correct that it’s time to end the failed war on marijuana at the federal level and begin to repair its harms to Black and brown communities (“Congressional Democrats look to end pot’s legal limbo,” Feb. 10). As Congress and the Biden administration explore what a reparative federal framework might look like, they will look to states like Massachusetts. Our leaders will determine whether we are a role model or a cautionary tale.

As one of the “small group of advocates” who met last week with Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Ron Wyden of Oregon about comprehensive and equitable cannabis reform legislation, I can tell you there is great national interest in states that have sought to reinvest cannabis revenue into communities targeted by marijuana prohibition and to ensure that they have a piece of the billion-dollar industry.


But we need to finish the job. Last year, I joined other cannabis regulators in calling on our state officials to implement oversight addressing corruption in municipal processes, and to use marijuana tax revenue for an entrepreneurial loan fund similar to the one in Illinois. The Legislature failed to act on these or any marijuana bills last session. Our window to demonstrate success is closing.

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