IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED: Act now and urge senators in the MD Senate Finance Committee to ADD and PASS an amendment to SB516 that would require an additional 5-10% of cannabis tax revenue to go to Maryland Legal Services Corporation to fund civil legal aid (MLSC Amendment).
Through SB516, the Maryland legislature seeks to develop the cannabis industry in MD, but also reinvest and remedy harms to communities that were directly harmed by disproportionate cannabis enforcement. Currently, the language in the bill allows for 30% of cannabis tax revenue to go towards a "Community Reinvestment and Repair Fund," which is meant to be used only by community groups, but not civil legal aid organizations.
Civil legal aid remedies past harms caused by cannabis enforcement and is a potent social equity solution, but funding to the civil legal aid community is not accounted for in SB516.
PLEASE ACT NOW TO CONTACT SENATORS IN THE SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE TO ADD AND PASS THE MLSC AMENDMENT TO SB516.
The amendment would add 5-10% of cannabis tax revenue to go to Maryland Legal Services Corporation to fund civil legal aid.
We need this amendment because:
- We need to detangle and solve the legal problems that Marylanders found themselves in because of cannabis enforcement and that means funding civil legal aid organizations
- Social services AND civil legal services are both important types of services that communities ravaged by cannabis enforcement need to get them to stability. Civil legal aid is not covered by the bill.
- We will not achieve social equity in remediating harms if we do not address the civil legal problems faced by communities disproportionately impacted by cannabis enforcement. These communities are the ones that are served by civil legal aid organizations.
Funding for civil legal aid organizations is administered by the Maryland Legal Services Corporation (MLSC).
Time is of the essence. ACT NOW to ask members of the Senate Finance Committee to ADD and PASS an Amendment to SB516 that would add 5-10% of cannabis tax revenue to go to Maryland Legal Services Corporation to fund civil legal aid.