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Advocacy groups celebrate legalization and de-stigmatization of marijuana

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Truth Pharm, a local organization that advocates for policy change to reduce harm caused by substance use, says this is a win for all cannabis users.

Truth Pharm says they see many individuals with substance use disorders that turn to cannabis as a form of healing, instead of continued use of drugs like heroin or opioids. While it will have a huge impact on communities of color disproportionately impacted by drug-related crimes, members of Truth Pharm agree there is much work still to be done.

"[The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act] must be used as a springboard to continue and further the work of decriminalizing and de-stigmatizing drug use," said Khamesi Black. "We must continue to expand care networks and push for proactive harm reduction as a focal point as opposed to reactionary criminalization."

With the new law, New York State will expunge the criminal records of those convicted of crimes that would now be legal. The state will also be working to provide more licenses to minority-owned businesses in the industry.

Katie Jones

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