New York, Massachusetts, Marijuana discussed on Brian Lehrer


New York, Sheldon, you're on WNYC. Where's the Ruka farms? It's located in Canada Hari New York for ninety west about forty miles west of Albany. Thank you for calling in. What would you like to add? Yes. I wanted to discuss the current legislation with, you know, recreational use on New York state, then I mean concern is like a lot of times. I'm just hearing this Barrett of about people of color, not being able to raise funds and have money to compete in the industry, and I think that's just entirely false. There's plenty of successful people of color that kick it involved in this industry, and you know, rival others in the industry, and you know, it should be up to us to reach down and help our own community. So you don't want the government that narrative is actually coming from. That's not the narrative that I expose what I explosives that. You cannot give all the licenses to someone who is outside of the community. You have to provide an opportunity for so many people who are in the community to have access to those license. I agree people colored some a lot of people have money. In fact, we will be. Successful. If we're able to bring the two billion dollar underground market above ground day to day one best to go to we're trying to reach better than mean. People don't have access to resources, but it does mean that they couldn't need to have some training some business training, they need maybe know, how to write a business plan. They even know how to get support in figuring out how to apply for the state's licenses. There are a number of ways that you can set up operations to assist people in moving themselves into legal business. That's what we're talking about. We're not suggesting that the government should set up opportunities to hand out money to people to start a business. That's the wrong narrative. And quite frankly, I take offense that whoever said it and so Commissioner title for Massachusetts. What would you add to this piece of the conversation given that in Massachusetts so far? The stat you cited was that of a hundred thirty eight licenses for marijuana related businesses. So far only three have gone to people of color. Well, it's twenty nine hundred and we need to have minority owned businesses women owned businesses. I don't own businesses and farmer owned businesses. That's just part of the strength in the vibrancy of the industry. But I would say also I completely agree with the majority leader in that one of the goals here is to take that vibrancy and innovation and resourcefulness that we see in disproportionately harm communities and add training as necessary. So that they can be successful. In other words to make it fair. If my parents was incarcerated for a drug offense. And you're a parent has a trust fund. Let's balance it out. So that if we have equal skills and ambition that it's fair to both of us in ocean port on WNYC. Hi, diane. Diane. We have you. Diane delay have your location. Right. Are you an ocean port New Jersey? I guess we don't have Diane. Let's try try one more time. Hi, Diane, man. Maybe we have you there. Hi did offer speakerphone if you would. Okay. So we can hear you. Well, pick up your set. And then everybody will be able to hear you. We're here. Diane give it a shot. All right. I don't know what the problem is. We'll try to get back to her. She going to apologize as well. We're in the middle of session and do a couple of votes on the floor that I personally need to go take. So I'm going away off. And thank you very much for the opportunity. Nice to hear your voice. Again tile. It's been awhile since we first minute. The first hearing New York hailed some years ago. So you all have a great day. And thank you for your conversation on this, very important topic. Thank you very much for being part of it. And let's go to our next caller as we continue with the Massachusetts marijuana control Commissioner Shalini title and see what we can learn I should say cannabis control commission and Kellyanne Putnam valley, New York WNYC. Hi, kelly. Hi, brian. Thanks for having me on. I'm so sorry that Senator people Stokes had to get off before my call someone by we do, you know, I I work for Sam New York. I'm a field organizer here in New York. And we're very concerned about what Hoyle man river do as negligible consequences of commercial legalisation. I think that needs to be taken much more seriously when you look at the data from other states about the negative consequences of commercialization. It's it's not negligible. So listeners know that acronym that used which is Sam that's smart approaches to marijuana right? And you're gonna meet Kevin tomorrow. I understand which is fantastic. And I and there's people up in buffalo who are trying to get with Senator people Stokes and try to educate her on on this matter, and we fully understand the need for decriminalization. And and that's what we support commercial legalisation is not going to give her what she wants. I think it's naive. And I think our guest from Massachusetts can support that in a way that there's big money behind this and to compete in that kind of industry requires loans and startup funds that minority communities don't necessarily have. But here's the other piece of this that we want to you know, kinda hammer home is that these communities. Also, you know have the most to lose when it comes in adding adding another addictive substance into the world. And you know, we'll Jones is is a wonderful person. To talk about it. I don't wanna turn this debate over legalization versus decriminalization. Which is in fact, exactly what we're going to have with your colleague on Friday. But but Kelly, I I appreciate your call. And and why if you're worried about the money behind the lobbyists for the big marijuana industry companies? Why would you not be as worried about the black market with you know, the violence in the black market from decriminalization? Right. Well, see, here's the thing is, you know, it doesn't it doesn't change the black market continues to thrive in states that have legalized. Okay. And there's reasons for that. So when you look at the data on what's what's happening in Oregon, Colorado and these other states on California and the black market. It's not good commercial legalisation is not fixing that problem. As a matter of fact, it's making it worse than we're gonna. Again, I'm going to leave it there. And we will pick that up and explore that further on Friday, we're when we're going to have debate and the green space, in fact between legalization advocate and decriminalization advocate on exactly the lines that Kelly Putnam valley was just calling about so Kelly. Thank you very much Commissioner, let me let me ask you for some background politically on the process of getting to legalization in Massachusetts. What New York and New Jersey? Might do which I don't know if it's been done anywhere before is actually have the legislatures pass a law, Massachusetts like the state out west had a referendum, right? Right. We had a referendum in two thousand sixteen. But then the legislature actually rewrote it the following summer creating the commission and strengthening many of the equity provisions I actually like to address one of the points from the previous call quickly. So the idea of adding another addictive substance is very disingenuous in Massachusetts baseline data shows that one in five adults use cannabis before legalization. I'm sure the statistics are similar in New York. We're not adding a substance the idea of regulating is to allow consumers to have tested product from a regulated store by do. Find it interesting. No matter how you feel about legalisation people tend to agree that we don't want to see an industry that's dominated by a few big exploitation of players. So I think that's something that we all have in common. We had the. The just finish that point or further that point a little bit. We had a guest last week who said he favors decriminalization as opposed to legalization because what he doesn't want is another legal industry like the alcohol industry pushing an addictive substance on people getting out there with advocating and saying use this use this use more of this use are one of this because that's going to create more harm than the current black market. But let it be decriminalised. So absolutely nobody wants to see another big alcohol. Nobody wants to see another big tobacco. That's why we have very strict advertising regulations inventory tracking testing regulations. The idea that the way to address that is through decriminalization and no regulation whatsoever. Is completely contradictory to the goal last question. And it's another social Justice question. How far has Massachusetts come on expunge mint or the ceiling of records of people who've had marijuana conviction in the past? So we do have expunge -ment for cannabis convictions. It's not automatic. But it's allowed the repetition. I recently wrote a recommendation of ten equity must have in any Bill, and I included automatic expunge, man. I think it needs to be done in the same lie at the same time as legalization. So that people with past convictions can move forward in their life without having held against them. My guest has been selene title Commissioner of the Massachusetts cannabis control commission, and we heard earlier from crystal peoples Stokes democratic majority leader of the New York state assembly. Thanks so much Commissioner for joining us. We we learned a lot from you today. And we'll see how much the experience of Massachusetts. So far can inform the debate still to come in new New York, New jersey. Thank you very much. Thank you for having me Brian Lehrer on WNYC. Emily Basilan next.

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