Cannabis Policy

Racial Equity and Community Reinvestment

Since 2017, Youth Forward has been a leading voice for racial equity and community reinvestment when it comes to cannabis legalization in California. For decades, people of color, particularly Black people, were over-criminalized during the War on Drugs. The enforcement of marijuana laws played a large role in incarcerating people for minor offenses, driving families into poverty and in separating children from their parents. We are organizing to ensure that state and local revenues generated from cannabis taxes are reinvested in communities of color that were most impacted during the War on Drugs. We believe these revenues should be used to repair some of the harm caused by the War on Drugs through investments in youth development, prevention, healing and health services, and community economic development. We are also assisting tribal communities throughout the state with accessing Prop 64 grant funds to support youth substance use prevention and to help repair damage to tribal lands and water caused by illegal cannabis grows.

Cannabis and Public Health

We are leading advocacy efforts to strengthen regulations on the cannabis industry to protect children and youth from the harmful effects of cannabis use. We are working to raise awareness of cannabis advertising and products that are designed to attract children and youth and the negative impacts of cannabis use on the mental health of adolescents and young adults.

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