At that state level, Todd believes that California represents the “new gold standard of legalization” in criminal sentencing reform, and that such reform should accompany any legalization processes given the life-altering consequences and hefty price many of those convicted continue to pay.

“We no longer can just look at ending prohibition and adopting a better approach, but we now actually have to look back at undoing the harm that prohibition caused,” said Todd, noting that the “racial discrimination carried out in the enforcement of marijuana laws” carries with it the weight and “collateral consequences of those convictions, and continues to, throughout the course of people’s lives.”

Given California has invested much time, money and thought into its current remedial process and the lives it impacts, Archie ultimately feels the federal thwarting of the decriminalization of a natural substance that most feel should be medicinally and casually accessible truly represents a backward approach.

“If a person already has that felony conviction on their record, that person is more likely to recidivate back in to the same situation that they came from,” stressed Archie, pointing out how hard it is “for a person to get anywhere after they are released from incarceration. In order to counteract that, we need programs where people can get certain felonies wiped off of their records so that they can move forward, back into society, provide for their families, and not have to go back to jail.”