The Cannabis Industry exists inspite of Cannabis prohibition which was created, and kept in place, because of racist motivations. In cannabis prohibition’s earliest days, it was used as a public policy tool to target minorities.
In cannabis prohibition’s earliest days, it was used as a public policy tool to target minorities.
Harry Anslinger, the ‘father of prohibition,’ used cannabis and racist fears of bi-racial relations to scare people into supporting prohibition.
One of President Richard Nixon’s advisers admitted on the record that cannabis prohibition, and the entire War on Drugs, was created and perpetuated because it was an effective tool that allowed law enforcement to target minorities.
Cannabis prohibition is a clear form of institutional racism, proven by the disproportionate enforcement of cannabis prohibition on minorities.
The cannabis industry needs to embrace minorities and encourage and assist members of minority communities to help them carve out their own part of the emerging cannabis industry.
As a cannabis community, we need to not just create a new industry – we need to create a new kind of industry. One that sees those most affected by prohibition being given an easy path to the financial rewards that are being created by a newly legal industry.
An inspiring push is underway to ensure that the future cannabis industry is diverse, led by some truly amazing members of the cannabis community.
One of my favorite organizations in the entire cannabis world is Supernova Women. Supernova is an organization founded in 2015 by and for Women of Color.
Supernova Women seeks to empower Women of Color to “become self sufficient shareholders in the evolving cannabis economy.”
From Massachusetts to California, members of Supernova Women are showing up and speaking out in favor of diversity in the cannabis industry at public hearings.
The organization has also organized events that included educational panels featuring Women of Color from the cannabis space, such as two of my personal heroes Amber Senter and Shaleen Title, both successful industry members and longtime activists.
The City of Oakland recently approve a measure which calls for half of all new cannabis permits to be issued to people from neighborhoods hit hardest by cannabis prohibition. A vast majority of cannabis arrests in Oakland were of People of Color.
As the Supernova Women Facebook page shows, the organization showed up multiple times to speak in favor of the measure, and the impact their advocacy had is obvious.
The Minority Cannabis Business Association (MCBA) was also founded in 2015. The organization serves ‘the specific needs of minority cannabis entrepreneurs, workers, and patients/ consumers.’
MCBA made headlines recently when it released model legislation that would repair the harms of the War on Drugs via ‘justice reinvestment,’ often referred to as ‘drug war reparations.’ Read More at Green Flower Media
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