Steering membership includes prominent national advocacy organizations, including Americans for Prosperity (AFP), a political advocacy group founded by the Koch brothers; Mission Green/The Weldon Project, a nonprofit that advocates for the release of individuals incarcerated for cannabis offenses; Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank; and the Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce (GACC), a cannabis trade organization. Weldon Anglos of Mission Green/The Weldon Project and Randal John Meyer of GACC serve as co-coordinators for the coalition.
Weldon Angelos said, “Ending cannabis prohibition and incarceration is a moral imperative. For too long, cruel laws punishing non-violent cannabis offenses have destroyed the lives of individuals throughout this country—myself included. It is high time that Congress and the president right this wrong and allow those harmed by cannabis prohibition the chance to participate in the cannabis industry like the millionaires and billionaires doing so now. But we can’t do this alone. We need both sides to come together on this, which is why we launched this coalition.”
The CFA is aimed at accomplishing four core values through federal legislative reform:Federal De-Scheduling and Criminal Justice Reform. Seek the complete removal of cannabis from the schedules of the Controlled Substances Act to bring an end to cannabis criminalization, and allow innovation, industry and research to thrive.Reentry and Successful Second Chances. Seek to ensure individuals who were formerly incarcerated or current gray-market operators are given a second chance in society and have an equal ability to contribute to the cannabis market during its transition from an illicit to legal market.Promoting Entrepreneurship in Free and Open Markets. Seek federal and state regulatory frameworks for cannabis which promote public safety while ensuring low barriers to entry and non-restrictive occupational and business licensing is the norm. Market rules must not allow control by crony interests or inhibit small companies and entrepreneurs through unnecessary limitations or overregulation.Competitive and Reasonable Tax Rates. Seek to ensure the total tax burden—federal, state and local combined—imposed on cannabis businesses should not raise costs so as to incentivize the continuation of illicit markets.
“For too long, the criminalization of cannabis has hurt Americans, from individuals’ unnecessary involvement with the justice system to the damage dealt to communities by the expensive and failed war on drugs,” said Brent W. Gardner, the chief government affairs officer for AFP. “Americans for Prosperity is excited to work alongside our partners to bring cannabis businesses into the light, replacing black and gray markets with a free and fair legal framework that improves public safety and emphasizes entrepreneurship and equal opportunity. In this context, cannabis commerce will become a way for Americans to lift themselves up, rather than a barrier holding them back.”
Reason Foundation Vice President of Policy Dr. Adrian Moore said, “We are excited to work together on the twin goals of ending the failed prohibition of cannabis, with all the costs to lives, liberty and the economy that come with it, and ensuring that cannabis black markets are replaced with free, fair and competitive legal cannabis markets.”
GACC Board Chairman Rezwan Khan said, “GACC is excited to join together to help bring about the end of cannabis prohibition. We look forward to ensuring a vibrant and competitive legal cannabis industry that restores the harms of those adversely impacted by prohibition.”