Today, along with Equity First Alliance Los Angeles and the Social Impact Center in Los Angeles, UFCW 770 published a report about how we create a healthy Cannabis industry for all Repairing the Harms, Creating the Future: Centering Cannabis Social Health & Equity in Los Angeles.
About the Report
The new Repairing the Harms, Creating the Future: Creating Cannabis Social & Health Equity in Los Angeles (2019) report compiles extensive research that shows the City of Los Angeles’ promising programs meant to repair the war on drugs need a more comprehensive approach – and immediate funding – to succeed. A wide range community, worker and industry voices and experts are highlighted who share the effects of the war on drugs but also their engagements with health and social justice through cannabis. The report then outlines how to realize a broader vision of repair and renewal via cannabis in alignment with intersecting work throughout Los Angeles on social and health equity.
Included are comprehensive recommendations on incorporating greater community voice in cannabis regulation, building social equity programs that meet worker and small businesses needs, ensuring non-criminalizing enforcement, and reinvesting cannabis tax funds in health and social equity. Through detailed picture of past, present and future harms and potential in relation to the cannabis industry, Repairing the Harms provides unique data and analysis on how policymakers, industry, workers and community can build a national model of equity in cannabis together.
Report Produced by: Cage-Free Cannabis, Equity First LA, The Social Impact Center and UFCW Local 770
Author: Robert Chlala, PhD Candidate, University of Southern California and Social Equity Researcher/UFCW 770
With: Jackie Cornejo, UFCW 770; Dr. Brandie Cross PhD, Smart Pharm Research Group; Kristen Lovell, The Social Impact Center; Adam Vine, Cage-Free Cannabis
The report explores ways the city of LA can continue to make equity a priority in the future of Cannabis regulation. We must repair the harms of the war on drugs on affected communities and to build a future that serves the needs of the Los Angeles community. This is a roadmap for how we do it.
Although it’s a short read on its own, here are the key takeaways:
We first developed a shared definition of the word “equity.” Without it, there’s a danger that our efforts to put people and their lives in the center of the future of Cannabis would be unsuccessful. Drawing from the latest research on equitable implementation, we look at equity in three parts, past, present, and future:
1. When implemented, equity closes historical gaps that often align with place, race, and gender;
2. In the present, equity requires strong partnerships with affected communities that supports their participation and power.
3. Finally, when implemented, equity takes into consideration future disparities by building for the long-term (in adaptable ways) and anticipating future harms.
As our cannabis stakeholder forums confirmed, for Los Angeles to be successful, equity has to be centered across all cannabis policies and practices. It must also work in unison with other equity efforts in different sectors of the city and county.
No Better Time than Now
We examined multiple perspectives from a range of stakeholders for insight into the needs of communities, interests of voters, and commitments to equity that policymakers have made. The report investigates areas where equity principles can be applied immediately. The most pressing area in all our minds:
2. Funds to support social equity applicants and workers
3. Corporate social responsibility
Here are some of our recommendations to push this vision forward:
1. Create a Cannabis Health & Social Equity working group
2. Develop a progressive and comprehensive enforcement strategy for cannabis regulations and halt further criminalization of youth
3. Create a community reinvestment fund to repair the harms of the war on drugs
Read the full report to learn about a future of cannabis that puts people, their voices, and stories in the center of growth and development.