We Rise to Legalize

WE ARE A COALITION OF FAITH, CIVIL RIGHTS, WORKERS’ RIGHTS, MILLENNIAL, & GRASSROOTS ADVOCATES CALLING ON NEW YORK STATE TO PASS AN EQUITABLE AND FAIR ADULT USE PROGRAM.

Truth, Reconciliation and Reparative Justice

The current WeRise agenda calls for Truth & Reconciliation and Reparative Justice to repair communities of color unfairly impacted by the War on Drugs.

We Rise to Legalize calling on NY Department of Health to enact EMAP as required by Law

For Immediate Release: Thursday April 16, 2020

WeRiseToLegalize is Calling on Gov Cuomo to designate Medical Marijuana a "Cause to Unpause"

WeRiseToLegalize declares Medical Marijuana a Cause to UnPause, calling on NY Governor Cuomo to make Medical Expansion an essential public health need and prioritize an effort to address disparities in at risk Impact Areas across the state. Calling on President Donald Trump to encourage New York and other states to address similar problems across the country. Licensed caregivers, dispensary personnel and outreach service providers are essential health services. They protect patients that are seniors, children suffering from illness, Veterans, retirees, opioid abusers, and others that require Medical Marijuana and associated resources.   

"FIGHT FOR 420"

Make your $4.20 Pledge today! Sign the petition! Support WeRiseToLegalize in the NYS Fight for 420. Your contribution will go towards the WeRiseToLegalize team to build a stronger community coalition and call on Governor Cuomo, Speaker Heastie and Senate Leader Stewart-Cousins to pass an equitable Marijuana Law with the budget.

NAACP Mid-Manhattan Next Gen honors Harlem’s Cannabis Trailblazers at Marijuana Economics event

NAACP Mid-Manhattan Next Gen honored 4 Harlem’s Cannabis Trailblazers during a Marijuana Economics event on November 25, 2019 at Touro College in Harlem. The four honorees were Leslie Stone of Let’s Talk Cannabiz; Yasmin Hurston of NYS Minority Alliance; Regina Smith of Harlem Business Alliance and Julian Hill of We Rise to Legalize.

#WeRisetoLegalize 2020

We are calling on NYS elected leaders Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to set five priorities in the 2020-2021 Legislative Session to assure more equitable Marijuana Reform Law in New York State.

We Rise to Legalize 2020 Policy Priorities:

MEDICAL EXPANSION

01

Increase the number of vertical medical marijuana licenses from 10 to 15 to assure industry diversity and all communities in NYS receive adequate care. Medical licensees should be able to apply for recreational licenses, provided they pay fees into community reinvestment funds established for reparative justice.

MARIJUANA COMMUNITY COUNCIL

02

Organize a statewide marijuana council that serves as a community policy making body composed of various stakeholders to include business, faith, academic, labor, and activist leaders to develop marijuana policy congruent with community needs.

TRUTH COMMISSION

03

Order a statewide commission to research and report an accurate historical account of New York’s failed WarOnDrugs and offer recommendations to repair those vulnerable groups and communities.

MARIJUANA IMPACT FUND

04

Create a state fund derived from Marijuana sales tax, licensing fees and other revenue to serve as a reparative justice measure to fund Social Equity Programs. The Marijuana Community Council and others should make recommendations as to various causes to be funded. The State of New York should also match contributions.

MARIJUANA RESEARCH/OVERSIGHT

05

Develop a research and oversight commission tasked with continuing research on the impact Marijuana legalization has on the lives of New Yorkers. This commission would also monitor the impact of media, marketing and advertising directed at persons that consume Marijuana.

TAKE ACTION

06

Join us as we call on NYS elected leaders to set the aforementioned five priorities in the 2020-2021 Legislative Session to assure more equitable Marijuana Reform Law in New York State.

#WeRisetoLegalize

NBC NEWS: Marijuana legalization in New York can't just be about making money. It should be about making amends.

The National Action Network supports the nascent “We Rise to Legalize” campaign in New York, arguing that any marijuana legalization bill should create an easy and expedited process to expunge non-violent marijuana convictions from criminal records, expand re-entry programs to people affected by pre-legalization marijuana arrests and give priority for licensure to women and minority-run businesses, as well as nonviolent offenders who had been convicted on past marijuana charges.

We Rise to Legalize Guided Pillars

We Rise to Legalize recommends that Governor Cuomo and the state legislature include the following elements in an adult use program for legal marijuana in New York:

INVESTMENT IN THE COMMUNITY

Assure profits from marijuana businesses be re-invested back into the community

EXPUNGEMENTS

Expunge non-violent marijuana convictions and expand re-entry programs to persons impacted by the War on Drugs

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Provide business opportunities and capital investments for women and minority owned businesses

SUSTAINABLE WORKFORCE

Create good, sustainable jobs in the marijuana industry with continued workforce development, job training, and workers' protections

EDUCATION

Develop Community Based Education and Abuse Programs

EXPANSION

Expand access for the current medical marijuana program into communities of color

Change.org:

We are calling on NYS elected leaders Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senate Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins, and Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to set five priorities in the 2020-2021 Legislative Session to assure more equitable Marijuana Reform Law in New York State.

CHANGE.org: Decriminalize + Expand Medical Access so Black/Brown patients can obtain medical marijuana

If StartSmartNY Marijuana Bill does NOT have the votes to pass, we need a Plan B to protect Black & Brown communities from unfair arrests and prosecutions + offer safe, affordable medical marijuana in those communities.⁣ Timing is critical.

#PlanB: We Rise to Legalize Call to Action

We Rise to Legalize, calls on the State Legislature to pass a bill that not only decriminalizes marijuana, but moves to amend the State Constitution to expunge the records of those convicted of nonviolent possession charges. We also support the creation of a full legal adult use program in the state of New York, as well as expanding access to medical marijuana in low income communities and for those on programs like Medicaid.

"It's not about when it's going to happen, the goal is to get it Done Right."

Any bill that does not adequately address criminal justice reform, medical expansion, and the harmful effects of the War on Drugs on people of color, is an affront to New York’s reputation as one the most progressive states in the nation. We commend the State Legislature for this critical first step, and we look forward to working with them and Governor Cuomo to create a more equitable and beneficial adult use bill next session.

NY POST: Campaign hopes to sway minority lawmakers in NY pot legalization push

"[OUR] group is pushing for a law legalizing weed that ensures that revenues are targeted to communities ravaged by the war on drugs, with disproportionate number of arrests and prosecutions of black and Latinos on non-violent drug charges, including marijuana." - LAMON BLAND

In the Media

We Rise to Legalize "in the Media"

DIVERSITY: Will recreational pot freeze out people of color – again? Minority businesses were neglected in the rollout of medical marijuana.

By JEFF COLTIN
Staff reporter at City & State

METRO: Campaign hopes to sway minority lawmakers in NY pot legalization push

By CARL CAMPANILE
NY POST Reporter

CRAIN'S: Legal weed is coming, but how will the market work?

“There is a lot of nice language about communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs,..We don’t know how the tax revenue is going to be divided up,” she said. There are no stated standards for diversity in the workforce.” SAMARIA PHILLIPS

Call to Action: PLAN B

Dear Advocates. If StartSmartNY Marijuana Bill does NOT have the votes to pass, we need a Plan B to protect Black & Brown communities from unfair arrests and prosecutions + offer safe, affordable medical marijuana in those communities.⁣ We are asking everyone to SIGN this petition and CALL your NYS Elected Leadership to pass a bill that includes:⁣ *DeCriminalization for simple possession;⁣- AND⁣ - *Medical Marijuana Expansion to offer licenses for community-based companies to educate and dispense medicine in Communities Impacted by the War on Drugs.⁣ Call your legislators and encourage them to co-sponsor and vote yes today. @WeRisetoLegalize @RisetoLegalize

Rev. Al Sharpton

"Any marijuana legalization bill should create an easy and expedited process to expunge non-violent marijuana convictions from criminal records, expand re-entry programs to people affected by pre-legalization marijuana arrests and give priority for licensure to women and minority-run businesses, as well as nonviolent offenders who had been convicted on past marijuana charges."

Campaign Tools

Here are your campaign marketing tools that you’ll want by your side as you roll out your #WeRisetoLegalize campaign in your community.

6 Guided Pillars

Campaign Goals

Stats & Facts

Call to Action

Donate to Cause

Talking Points