Institutional Racism in Cannabis Laws
Talking Oppression and Discrimination from Law Enforcement
My friend Nelson runs the Cannabis Cultural Association. Join us as we explore 5 questions on the nature of institutional racism discrimination and oppression within cannabis legislation.
I felt the conversation we had with him about the difficulties people of color are having gaining access into the cannabis industry was worth a deeper dive.
Question 1: According to the NAACP between 1980 and 2015, the number of people incarcerated in America increased from roughly 500,000 to over 2.2 million. African Americans and Hispanics make up only 32% of the US population but they comprise 56% of all incarcerated people in 2015. Why are these numbers so shockingly out of balance?
Question 2: In my interview several weeks ago with Lester Matthews we were both shocked to find that our dealings with underground drug buying was completely different. I used to receive a very nice menu selection of strains from my contacts while he still has to walk down to the street corner and buy whatever the guy has...no knowledge of the strain or the health of the bud. Do you think this socio-economic fact plays into higher arrest records?
Question 3: I know you and the Cannabis Cultural Association do a lot of great work in New York State. What’s wrong with the existing laws there and why is Philando Castile a major focus in how we conduct law enforcement and research police shootings?
New York is one of many states that prohibits people with drug-related felonies from applying for a marijuana license or gaining employment with licensed companies.
Question 4: Because Cannabis isn’t federal yet is it difficult for organizations like yourself to gain funding for training and awareness?
Question 5: Finish this sentence: “A diverse Cannabis industry brings…”