On Aug. 9, 2017, two days after the National Conference of State Legislatures adopted a resolution urging the federal government to remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators announced that it had adopted a resolution that advises the Trump Administration to federally decriminalize cannabis.
“Marijuana policy in this country has disproportionately targeted Latinos from the start. In fact, the term entered the national consciousness in 1937 when it was used by the federal government as part of an effort to discriminate against Latinos,” said NHCSL President and Pennsylvania State Rep. Ángel Cruz in a press release. “NHCSL believes that our laws should focus on ending the current lawlessness of the black market and allow sound public policy based on scientific evidence to prevail on the issue of cannabis.”
Having learned the benefits of decriminalization and legalization firsthand, Colorado State Rep. Dan Pabón brought the resolution to NHCSL for approval.
“I am proud to stand with my fellow Latino legislators in taking a strong position in favor of common sense cannabis policy. In Colorado, we have successfully legalized cannabis and we have been able to reduce crime by 10.1%, increase revenues by more than $300 million that we dedicated to our schools, and have a new thriving industry that creates jobs,” Pabón said. “Smart decriminalization and tough regulations also allow our youth to thrive instead of subjecting many of them to unfair and discriminatory treatment by law enforcement. This is a civil rights issue and we urge our fellow lawmakers to view it as such and act accordingly.”
The resolution specifically advises the Trump Administration to approve legislation to federally decriminalize cannabis. The resolution asks state legislators to pass legislation to decriminalize cannabis at the state level and to seal records for relevant cannabis convictions once the substance is decriminalized. If a state chooses to legalize cannabis, the resolution recommends the implementation of proper policies to regulate commerce, thwart the black market and prevent access by minors.