Mitzi Vaughn is the Managing Attorney for Greenbridge Corporate Counsel. She also oversees Greenbridge’s Washington state practice, advising the cannabis industry regarding corporate, transactional, and employment matters, as well as adult-use and medical cannabis regulations. Mitzi has represented a wide variety of cannabis industry leaders: producers, processors, retailers, nutrient manufacturers, real estate developers, interstate brands, investors, consultants, and software companies.
Mitzi is a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), the Coalition for Cannabis Standards & Ethics (CCSE), and the Cannabis Alliance. She is on the Advisory Council of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), the founding committee of the Ad Hoc US Coalition for Global Drug Policy Reform, and the founding board of the National Cannabis Bar Association where she serves as its legal education chair.
Before moving to the Seattle area, Mitzi taught legal research and writing at St. Mary’s School of Law; and constitutional, race, and gender law at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her activities at the University of California at Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law reflect her lifelong dedication to social justice. She was co-chair of the Native American Law Student Association and administrator of the Berkeley Law Foundation.
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.