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Recreational marijuana and restorative justice

A budtender shows cannabis buds to a customer at the Green Pearl Organics dispensary in California.
A budtender shows cannabis buds to a customer at the Green Pearl Organics dispensary in California.

New York opened its first recreational weed dispensary more than a year after the state first voted to legalize marijuana.

It joins the 20 states and Washington D.C. that have legalized the drug for leisurely use.

But who is allowed to profit from that legalization?

In New York, the law specifically carves out provisions for those who’ve been disproportionately impacted by drug laws. It’s the latest example of a growing nationwide trend called “restorative justice.”

But many state legislatures have come under fire for not prioritizing equitable access to the marijuana market or for falling short in their efforts.

How can social equity and legalization coexist?

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Lauren Hamilton
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