Support Pro-pot Lawmakers
The Change Makers Award recognizes policymakers on the state or federal level who have advocated for ending cannabis prohibition in the interest of fiscal policy, personal liberty, medical alternatives and/or equal justice.
Meet the 2019 Nominees
State Senator Siobhan Dunnavant, MD — VIRGINIA
The only physician in the Virginia Senate, Senator Siobhan Dunnavant (R-12) has successfully championed landmark medical cannabis legislation for two consecutive General Assembly sessions. In 2018, her Let Doctors Decide bill expanded access to all Virginia patients by removing the qualifying condition requirement and simply allowing physicians to make recommendations. This year, Senator Dunnavant’s legislation brings full therapeutic-strength medical cannabis formulations in a variety of preparations to the Commonwealth, while also allowing nurse practitioners and physicians assistants to issue recommendations.
Lt. Governor John Fetterman — PENNSYLVANIA
Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman has been an instrumental in passing comprehensive cannabis reform in Pennsylvania, and is currently conducting a 67 county listening tour focused on legalization. As mayor of Braddock, Fetterman stood up for communities hard hit by economic disadvantages and racial disparities. He has routinely stood up for cannabis consumer rights, far before there was any glimmer that a regulated medical or adult use program were possible.
U.S. Representative Hakeem Jeffries — NEW YORK
Congressman Jeffries is the fifth top ranking member of the House Democrats and has come out strong saying Congress should decriminalize marijuana. Congressman Jeffries has co-sponsored all of the major cannabis reform bills in the past year, including the Marijuana Justice Act and the CARERS Act. A few months ago when referencing the First Step Act he tweeted, "Thanks to…the administration and a strong left-right coalition (the unusual suspects), historic criminal justice reform legislation is now law. Next step, Congress should DECRIMINALIZE MARIJUANA.”
U.S. Representative David Joyce — OHIO
Congressman David Joyce is on the leadership team of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, and was the first leader in the Caucus to come from a state that has yet to pass an adult-use regulatory program. A longtime supporter of reform efforts, Congressman Joyce stepped up in the last Congress and introduced The States Act, legislation that would ease the tension between federal prohibition and state-legal programs. He was also a cosponsor of the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act, which would remove cannabis from the Controlled Substance Act entirely.
U.S. Representative Barbara Lee — CALIFORNIA
A bold leader who knows the strength of standing with principles, Congresswoman Barbara Lee is the co-chair of the Cannabis Congressional Caucus, and has been the leading voice in ensuring that as the cannabis industry evolves, we are also undoing the wrongs of the War on Drugs. In 2018, Lee introduced the RESPECT resolution, which acknowledges that the War On Drugs is a failed policy that followed a misguided history of criminalizing drug use, and specifically sought to disrupt, incarcerate and antagonize political opponents and black communities. Additionally, she recently introduced the Marijuana Justice Act, which would de-schedule cannabis from a Schedule 1 drug, as well seeks to repair some of the damage marijuana prohibition has done to this country’s most vulnerable communities.
State’s Attorney for Baltimore City Marilyn Mosby — MARYLAND
In February 2019, Baltimore State Attorney Marilyn Mosby made the unprecedented announcement that her office will no longer prosecute marijuana possession cases. Her office also filed a legal petition that, if granted, could expunge nearly 5,000 marijuana convictions. When discussing her new policy, Mosby said, “Jailing people for marijuana possession is a vast and ongoing moral failure.” In explaining her decision to also look at past convictions, Mosby added: “Communities are still sentenced under these unjust policies, still paying a price for behavior that is already legal for millions of Americans. That’s why I’m moving to vacate these cases.”
State Representative Jake Wheatley — PENNSYLVANIA
Pennsylvania Representative Jake Wheatley is a U.S. veteran and was awarded several ribbons and medals for his actions during combat. In February 2019, Wheatley introduced HB50, the most comprehensive adult-use cannabis legalization bill in Pennsylvania to date. Wheatley said, “My legislation builds on the invaluable efforts of so many by crafting comprehensive legislation that would not only decriminalize and legalize adult-use cannabis, but would rectify decades of injustice while investing in the people and future of our commonwealth.”