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New Report Finds Americans Value Workers, Social Equity in Future Cannabis Policies 

May 28, 2024

Overwhelming majority of American adults surveyed believe workers and those harmed by marijuana laws deserve to benefit from legalization

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents 1.2 million workers across North America, including cannabis workers from seed to sale, issued a statement in response to a recently released survey report from the Parabola Center for Law and Policy, a leading drug policy think tank. The new report, titled American Values and Beliefs About Marijuana Legalization, is based on a study conducted with RTI International, an independent nonprofit research institute, analyzing the opinions of American voters on cannabis legalization. 

UFCW International President Marc Perrone released the following statement:

“This report shows that the overwhelming majority of Americans believe cannabis policies should prioritize social equity while also benefiting workers, their communities, and those harmed by the ‘War on Drugs.’ 

“The fact is, most Americans believe in what we at the UFCW have been fighting for for well over a decade: good union jobs that ensure equity within the growing cannabis industry. 

“As America’s cannabis union, the UFCW remains committed to ensuring that cannabis work reflects what Americans truly want: an industry that uplifts workers and helps their communities.” 

Report Background:

The report documents the beliefs held by American adults surveyed that cannabis industry workers and those previously harmed by marijuana laws should benefit from marijuana legalization and people who use marijuana, have lived experience, or work for social equity are the most trusted to create good, equitable cannabis policy. 

Based on a survey of American adults taken in the fall of 2023, the report finds:

  • 73 percent of Americans think cannabis legalization should benefit workers in the cannabis industry.
  • 63 percent of Americans think that cannabis legalization should benefit those harmed by past enforcement of cannabis laws. 
  • The top priorities of those surveyed said that they care about: social equity (68 percent), ending arrests (68 percent), and having access to cannabis (65 percent).  

For more information about the UFCW’s work across the cannabis industry, visit ufcw.org/cannabis


The UFCW International is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.2 million workers and their families in grocery, meatpacking, food processing, healthcare, cannabis, retail, and other essential industries. UFCW members serve our communities in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the UFCW at ufcw.org.

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