How does Systemic Discrimination Exist in Cannabis?
Thanks to systemic discrimination against people of color, the legal cannabis industry is white as new fallen snow. The monochromatic reality goes against everything legalized cannabis was supposed to be about. It was meant to be a way to lift up oppressed communities from systemic discrimination, and provide a counterweight to the years of harmful practices surrounding cannabis. But it hasn’t worked out that way. White people are taking the lion’s share of cannabis profits, the bulk of green jobs, and the most money from investors. Amid a larger social push for racial justice, can the systemic discrimination in the cannabis sector be corrected — or is it already too late? How Cannabis Reform Failed Cannabis legalization was always about correcting wrongs. The substance should never have been illegal in the first place. And since the beginning of its illegality, cannabis policing has had a strong racial bias. Simply correcting the underlying problem – cannabis’ illegality – should have made a substantial reduction in the harm the War on Drugs has done to marginalized communities. Legalization efforts included policies to combat system discrimination. Cannabis offenders were set to be released from prison in California, records of weed arrests were going to be expunged from legal databases in Indiana, dozens of states decriminalized small amounts of cannabis to reduce the punishment from jail time to small fines. But much of those promises failed to appear. In order to pass legalization, some progressive lawmakers made deals with conservatives that removed important pieces…
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