Mitzi Vaughn is a shareholder at Karr Tuttle Campbell in Seattle, Washington. She represents cannabis clients in matters of regulatory compliance, corporate transactions, and intellectual property. She was a founding board member of the International Cannabis Bar Association and currently sits on its Advisory Board and its Executive Committee. She has advised governmental bodies regarding cannabis regulation, including the Jamaican Cannabis Licensing Authority, the Hawaii Legislature’s Joint Health Committee, members of the Washington State Legislature, and the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.
From 2017 to 2020, Mitzi was the Chief Legal Officer of a company that provides intellectual property licensing, financing, real estate and hard assets leases, and other support to U.S. and international cannabis and hemp enterprises. From 2013 to 2017 she worked with Greenbridge Corporate Counsel, a transactional law boutique exclusively serving the cannabis industry. She served as its Managing Attorney.
She is active in national and international drug policy reform organizations – she serves as General Counsel to The Cannabis Alliance (WA) and is a board member of the Drug Reform Coordination Network and DRCNet Foundation (international).
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.