By Keith Grevenitz
If you’ve been paying attention to your social media accounts, the shouts of young protestors, or the voice of your conscience, it is beyond the time that people of all colors were treated equally. There’s no question that systemic racism exists, and that’s been a big problem in cannabis for a long time. According to an analysis by the American Civil Liberties Union, black people are 3.64 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession despite near equal usage with whites. The study continued to evaluate on a state to state basis and determined that in some states black people were close to ten times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession.
Even Elon Musk recently tweeted about the hypocrisy of arresting and incarcerating people for marijuana possession. How do marijuana arrests still account for over half of all drug arrests in the United States while publicly traded companies are making millions of dollars on cannabis sales? Are we living in a free country if an underprivileged person can’t start their own cannabis company? California recently announced that it would offer $30 million in grants for what they are calling a “cannabis equity program”. The program would offer communities most affected by marijuana prohibition pathways to participate in the legal marijuana industry.
The current reality in America is that cannabis is still kind of illegal and black people are disproportionately arrested for its possession. California’s solution is a start, but America needs legality. Cannabis smokers and people that value personal rights need to only vote for candidates that are pro-marijuana. Unlike the stereotypes suggest, people that smoke marijuana are active and conscientious. We vote. We care. We protest. It is estimated that 60 million people smoke marijuana. Marijuana prohibition is fundamentally racist, and as voters we must do everything possible to eradicate systemic racism.
An epilogue of sorts:
In 2019 Oklahoma police responded to a dispute and tackled a black man that ran from them named Elliot Scott. In an all too recognizable situation, law enforcement had Scott on the ground and Scott pleaded with officers that he could not breathe. “I don’t care,” said officer Jarred Tipton. “You can breathe just fine,” said another. Elliot Scott would later die in a local hospital of a collapsed lung. Don’t ask why the police were arresting him. The answer to that question isn’t relevant to the man’s death…
BLACK LIVES MATTER