Hey, Yo! It’s Citizen Jay! Comin’ at’cha from Denver, Colorado! Telling it like it is in the Rocky Mountain High and across the Cannabis Universe!
This Week 5-8-2020
Ben & Jerry’s put out a statement over the 420 holiday calling for national cannabis legalization and the expungement of prior cannabis convictions stating:
“Legalization must have equity at its heart. That’s why we’re calling on Congress to support the MORE Act, which would make cannabis legal and expunge prior cannabis convictions.”
The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (or “MORE”) Act is bipartisan legislation that removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act—decriminalizing cannabis at the federal level and enabling states to set their own cannabis policies.
Ben & Jerry’s statement is meant to point out how unfair prohibition policies have been, specifically referring to “racially disparate enforcement practices.”
Wow… it’s something. When we consider just how unjust the war on drugs has been and how it has hurt people of color so disproportionately, we can see how the new legalization movement has been poised to leave minority business owners and entrepreneurs out of the game. Not entirely, mind you. But the systemic racism and white privilege inherent in every nook of our nation has prevented all but a few minority businesspeople from succeeding in the legal cannabis space.
I’ve seen this discussed at length online. I know people—cannabis activists—who work tirelessly to bring this disparity into the light of day. To fight it where they see it. And to try to put into place policies that help level the playing field.
There’s a lot involved. It’s not just economics—the ability to amass credit or pay out large amounts of cash. It’s about access. Access to opportunity. Access to real estate. Access to people. Access to power.
With our news feeds full of black men being shot on the regular for doing nothing other than being black it is easy to see how we got here. Racism, it seems, is still synonymous with the American Way. We’re creating a new industry—a new economic sector in our economy. Isn’t it time we leave the racism behind? I know some of you might think… “it’s not me.” And I’m not saying it is any one of us. Because it is ALL OF US. Collectively we uphold the norms our society has gotten used to…it’s the hegemony of racism in America. It’s underlies everything so far down that we all just assume it is part of the natural order of things. But it is not.
Change is the order of things.
Speaking of change…
Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a law this week “defelonizing” single-use drug possession for things like heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine.
Under the new law residents caught with a small amount of illegal drugs will no longer be automatically charged with a felony. Instead, it makes possession of 4 grams or less of a controlled substance (as listed in Schedule I or II) a level 1 drug misdemeanor.
The new law also clarifies that possession of more than 6 ounces of cannabis (or 3 oz of concentrates) is also only a level 1 drug misdemeanor and states a person may not be arrested for the “petty offense of possession of not more than 2 ounces of marijuana.”
More steps in the right direction! And directions provided for cops not to arrest us for “petty offenses.” Let’s hope they take that to heart. One less tool for the po-po to use against any of us…
Finally, this week as Nevada, Massachusetts, and other state’s regulators are calling for a reopening of adult use dispensaries during this devastating pandemic…
NBC NEWS and The NY POST reported this week that a community health center treating Native Americans in the Seattle area was sent a shipment of body bags instead of the PPE they requested from a distributor via the county Health Department.
This comes at a time when Native American communities are being hit particularly hard by the pandemic. And it is completely callous.
There’s that national racism poking its head out once again. Nothing new to see here people. Just more blankets and wood shavings for the people to bear. Frankly, I am disgusted…
We can do better!
As states around the country take the lead in reopening it is important to remain cautious. History clearly shows us what could happen if we all walk out too soon. A second more devastating wave could very well hit.
It’s a tough spot from either side. Whether you go out or stay in. Ultimately it is up to each of us. But we, at the very least, should be thoughtful about it…especially where it concerns other people. WEAR THE MASK! It’s the least you can do… #WearIt #WearTheMask