Marijuana Prohibition Was Designed As Racist System, Virginia Governor Says In State Of The Commonwealth Speech

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Marijuana prohibition was intentionally set up “generations ago” to discriminate against people of color, the governor of Virginia said on Wednesday, calling for legalization to resolve those disparities. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said during his State of the Commonwealth address that cannabis criminalization is an example of how “our criminal justice system treats different people unfairly,” adding that Black people are more likely to be arrested for marijuana than white people despite comparable rates of usage. “That happens because that’s how the system was set up generations ago,” he said. “In fact, one of the early leaders of the federal Drug Enforcement Agency [sic] was clear that marijuana laws should be written explicitly to target people of color. And so they were, and they’ve been targeting people for years.” Watch the governor talk about marijuana policy below:  The speech came on the same day that Northam unveiled a comprehensive legalization bill, which is being carried by leaders in both the House and Senate and is scheduled for an initial hearing in the Senate Rehabilitation and Social Services on Friday. That legislation contains provisions aimed at promoting social equity in the market by giving those most impacted by the drug war licensing priorities and financial incentives to participate. “It’s time to join 16 [sic] other states and make marijuana legal, and end the current system rooted in inequity,” he said, over-counting the number of currently legal states by one. “We’ve done the research, and we can do this the right way, leading with social equity, public health, and public safety. Reforming our marijuana laws is one way to ensure that Virginia is a more just state that works better for everyone.” It’s time to join 16 other states and make marijuana legal, and end the current system rooted in inequity. By…

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Source : Marijuana Prohibition Was Designed As Racist System, Virginia Governor Says In State Of The Commonwealth Speech

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