The Amp

April 7, 2021

Amplify Values In These Emerging Issues

New York Marijuana Law is a Model for Justice and Equity

This week, New York became the fifteenth state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. In doing so, the country moves one step closer to ending the war on drugs that has devastated our communities for far too long. New York’s implementation of cannabis legalization is a national model for justice, equity and restitution for the damage of the drug war. 

What's more, 40 percent of state tax revenue from legalization will be directed towards minority communities that had disproportionate numbers of marijuana arrests. Research from 2018 shows that Latinx New Yorkers had been arrested at 5 times the rate of white people. For Black New Yorkers, the rate was 15 times higher despite the fact that rates of marijuana use are similar in all three groups. In addition, a significant portion of business licenses in the new industry will be prioritized for applicants from these communities. 

Our partner, Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), has long been an advocate for the equitable end to prohibition. In a statement following the law’s signing, DPA said, “by placing community reinvestment, social equity, and justice front and center, this law is the new gold standard for reform efforts nationwide.”  Those celebrating this hard-fought victory and pushing for passage of similar Federal legislation include Opportunity Agenda Communications Institute Fellow Kassandra Frederique, DPA's New York State Director Melissa Moore (a former Opportunity Agenda staffer), and Communications Fellows Queen Adesuyi and Maritza Perez.  


Hashtags: #UprootTheDrugWar, #NoMoreDrugWar

Livestream April 14: #ShiftingTheNarrative

The big story that dominates headlines around economic opportunity, the criminal justice system, gender equality, and many other issues has shifted over the decades — and continues to shift today. In our new report, Shifting The Narrative (launching April 12th), we explore narrative elements and messaging approaches to consider when trying to change the big story and how these shifts can happen.

Our recommendations are based on six case studies of narrative change that we researched: The Death Penalty; The War on Poverty; The "Blackfish" Effect; #MeToo; Gun Safety; and Racial Profiling. Our aim in this research was to identify the essential and replicable elements of past successful efforts, gleaning the insights captured in order to share our analysis with you. 

Join us on April 14th at 2pm EDT for the launch of our #ShiftingTheNarrative Livestream series, where we will share our exciting findings with you. The four-part series features members of our research team, along with narrative experts in the field on how and why #ShiftingTheNarrative matters.  

RSVP for the livestream

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