"For decades, entire neighborhoods in Buffalo have been ravaged by the racially biased and morally unjust War on Drugs and oppressive cannabis enforcement tactics,” said Franchelle Parker, Open Buffalo Executive Director. “Black and brown families in our city know too well how disproportionate targeting of their loved ones by law enforcement has ruptured families and destroyed economic potential for generations.”
New York has a critical opportunity to set a national example of how to advance racial equity, social justice and economic opportunity through cannabis policy reform. Any marijuana legalization must benefit those harmed by prohibition of the same. Among other provisions, this legislation must ensure that tax revenue investment and business creation opportunities are primarily destined for those black and brown communities that have been historically targeted, maligned, and devastated by harsh law enforcement and sentencing practices.
“We stand in solidarity with the Drug Policy Alliance and our Start SMART Coalition allies across the state in demanding that cannabis legalization in the Empire State work foremost to undo the harm of this war and provide for meaningful wealth creation and repair of our neighborhoods."
Open Buffalo is a 501(c)(3) organization with a mission to advance racial, economic, and ecological justice. It does so through skill building, network-connecting, and activating leadership opportunities. Its goal is for all communities in Western New York to thrive free from discrimination and poverty.