Achieving Social Equity in the Cannabis Industry

Ohio State Legal Studies Research Paper No. 618

Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, No. 29, June 2021

11 Pages Posted: 8 Jun 2021

See all articles by Samuel DeWitt

Samuel DeWitt

Ohio State University (OSU), Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Students

Date Written: June 7, 2021

Abstract

As legal cannabis begins to infiltrate most American states and public support grows for federal legalization, the national discussion has shifted from if cannabis should be legalized to how it should be legalized. A significant part of this debate has centered around the need to use cannabis legalization to address the lasting harm done to communities of color through federal prohibition. A fair and just framework for the legal cannabis industry cannot be achieved without sufficient efforts to foster social equity within the industry and to right the wrongs done by decades of prohibition. While most states with legal cannabis have recognized this issue and have taken some steps to address it, state action as a whole has been mostly ineffective and does not adequately reflect the scale of the problem. This paper argues that broad federal action is needed to achieve true social equity in the cannabis industry, action that goes beyond recognizing the problems and works to change the stigma surrounding drug use and its historical relation to communities of color.

Keywords: social equity, cannabis, stigma, War on Drugs, federal prohibition, states

Suggested Citation

DeWitt, Samuel, Achieving Social Equity in the Cannabis Industry (June 7, 2021). Ohio State Legal Studies Research Paper No. 618, Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, No. 29, June 2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3861692 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3861692

Samuel DeWitt (Contact Author)

Ohio State University (OSU), Michael E. Moritz College of Law, Students ( email )

55 West 12th Avenue
Columbus, OH 43210
United States

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