The National Cannabis Industry Association condemns the actions of violent extremists last week in their efforts to undermine a free and fair election, fomented by the divisive and patently false rhetoric of the President and numerous elected officials.

We are still trying to process the madness we saw unfold mere steps from our office on Capitol Hill. Like many Americans, we watched this attempted coup in horror and worried about the future of our country, our Constitution, and the safety of our loved ones and fellow staff.

We mourn the lives lost in this violent attack brought to our nation’s capital. We also hope this entirely avoidable tragedy will serve as the day of reckoning for all those who for too long have sought to divide our nation in order to serve their own political interests and those who have enabled them. 

Just as appalling was the disparity in the reaction from law enforcement to a horde of violent seditionists, which included no small number of avowed white supremacists, when compared to the treatment of people around the country speaking out for racial justice. While we don’t condone the wanton use of police force against demonstrators, there is simply no comparison between peaceful protests against ongoing systemic racism and police brutality and an armed insurrection against our democracy. The stark contrast in how these groups have been treated by authorities in the months and years leading up to the deadly storming of the Capitol is a clear indicator of the racial bias that persists in the United States. NCIA stands committed against this and all other forms of racial discrimination.

Make no mistake: we are no strangers to dissatisfaction with our government, and intense, furious opposition to its actions. The pain and injustice inflicted upon cannabis consumers and providers, not to mention their families and communities, is incalculable and ongoing. But we are an organization that represents an industry — and a movement — built on peaceful protest, civil disobedience, and cooperative nonpartisan efforts to change our laws and policies through an open and democratic system governed by the rule of law. Those who use misinformation to undermine confidence in our democratic processes or attempt to subvert them, such as the President and certain Republican lawmakers have done by spreading lies about our election for months, have no legitimate role in our republic.

There is no place in our country for what we saw last Wednesday. As a nation, we can — and must — do better to respect each other, settle our differences, and not succumb to mob mentality. We cannot allow our actions to be dictated by the thirst for power or the passions of the moment if our democracy and our freedom are to survive.

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