Mitzi Vaughn is the Managing Attorney for Greenbridge Corporate Counsel. She also oversees Greenbridge’s Washington state practice, advising the cannabis industry and its ancillary businesses regarding corporate, transactional, employment, and regulatory compliance matters.
She has advised governmental bodies regarding cannabis regulation, including the Washington State Legislature, the Hawaii Legislature’s Joint Health Committee, and the Jamaican Cannabis Licensing Authority. Mitzi regularly speaks at national conferences about cannabis law, and has been interviewed by radio, print, and television media regarding cannabis industry issues.
Mitzi is a founding board member of the National Cannabis Bar Association (NCBA) where she serves as its legal education chair. Additionally, she serves as General Counsel to the Cannabis Alliance, is a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), sits on the Advisory Council of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) serving as pro bono counsel, and is active on the founding committee of the Ad Hoc US Coalition for Global Drug Policy Reform.
Before diving into the world of regulated cannabis, Mitzi taught legal research and writing at St. Mary’s School of Law, taught constitutional, race, and gender law at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and was a trial lawyer.
What social justice and/or criminal justice reforms do you want the US to make around its drug policy, particularly around cannabis?
Rolling back the privatization of prisons would necessarily lead to more sensible drug policies in the US. The prison lobby is one of the largest lobbying groups pushing for harsher sentencing and mandatory minimums for non-violent drug offenses. So the cannabis industry is fighting not just public perception, but a prison-industrial complex dependent on more prisoners.
How do you incorporate gender parity, social justice, and environmental sustainability into your work and the growth of your business/organization?
We can’t be complacent in the face of a sea of black and brown faces languishing in prison for non-violent drug offenses. So at Greenbridge, we don’t just provide high quality corporate legal services, we also work, on the local level all the way to the United Nations, to end prohibition and free the incarcerated. It balances us.