The Fight for Equitable Cannabis Reform

20th Annual State Criminal Justice Network Conference
August 18-20, 2021 | Held Virtually

Hear from state and national experts who will explore a range of strategies adopted to account for the devastating impacts of the war on drugs, highlighting the most effective modes of providing relief for individuals with prior cannabis convictions.



Since the onset of the war on drugs, cannabis prohibition has carried devastating consequences for communities of color. In the past decade alone, despite similar usage rates, Black Americans across the country have been 3.6 times more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than white Americans. Cannabis criminalization has also been used to justify an increase in police surveillance, expanding the overall scope of policing and diverting scarce resources away from education and valuable social services. Today, lawmakers are beginning to rethink these practices, instead introducing new policies advancing legalization, decriminalization, retroactive expungement and resentencing, and community reinvestment.

  • Sarah Gersten, Executive Director, Last Prisoner Project
  • Chelsea Higgs Wise, Executive Director, Marijuana Justice Virginia
  • Ean Seeb, Special Advisor on Cannabis, State of Colorado
  • Moderated by: Maritza Perez, Director of the Office of National Affairs, Drug Policy Alliance

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