Today, NORML and it’s national network of advocacy chapters released a memo to state lawmakers, regulators, prosecutors, and other interested parties providing guidance for how they can take emergency actions to better promote the health and welfare of cannabis consumers and the general public during the COVID pandemic.
“In this era of tremendous uncertainty, it is crucial that policymakers use every tool in their toolkit to promote public health and safety. The enactment of various marijuana policy reforms can assist in these goals by reprioritizing law enforcement resources, mitigating interpersonal contact in our communities, and by ensuring that the elderly and more vulnerable patients continue to have uninterrupted access to state-regulated cannabis products via home delivery or curbside pick-up,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal.
In states where cannabis possession and use is criminalized, NORML recommends the following actions:
“As individuals and families struggle to cope with the day-to-day challenges of the COVID-19 global pandemic, it is inappropriate and irresponsible for state and local governments to continue utilizing precious resources and capacity to arrest, prosecute, and incarcerate Americans for marijuana violations,” said NORML’s Strekal.
In states where cannabis possession and use is regulated, NORML recommends the following actions:
“In those majority of states that regulate aspects of the cannabis market, it is crucial that patients, consumers, and employees are able to continue to engage in this marketplace in a manner that comports with current health and safety as safely recommendations, such as physical distancing. By implementing these common-sense reforms, we can ensure a safer environment for those who work in this essential industry and those who they provide for,” said NORML’s Strekal.
NORML also issued the following recommendations for federal lawmakers:
“The federal government is taking unprecedented steps to protect public health and private sector employment, but it should not leave the hundreds of thousands of employees who work in the state-licensed cannabis industry behind. Implementing these simple and minor changes at the federal level could reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission amongst cannabis patients, consumers, and industry employees, as well as provide necessary benefits and economic safeguards to this emerging industry,” said NORML’s Strekal.
You can read and download the memo to share with your local policymakers here.