The Fight for Racial Injustice
By Rolling Up
Despite widespread legalization of marijuana in the United States, there’s a bigger issue at large when it comes to arrests that have taken place for marijuana possession among black communities. As the events have unfolded over the weekend from the death of George Floyd, there is a lot of work to be done when it comes to racial injustice and drive real change.
In 2018, cannabis arrests accounted for 43 percent of drug arrests. Billions of dollars have been wasted on racially biased arrests.A 2020 analysis done by American Civil Liberties Union concluded, “Black people are 3.64 times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession, notwithstanding comparable usage rates.” Authors reported, "In every single state, Black people were more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession, and in some states, Black people were up to six, eight, or almost ten times more likely to be arrested. In 31 states, racial disparities were actually larger in 2018 than they were in 2010." These findings were similar to the ACLU's 2013 analysis, which had previously concluded, "[O]n average, a Black person is 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white person, even though Blacks and whites use marijuana at similar rates. Such racial disparities in marijuana possession arrests exist in all regions of the country, in counties large and small, urban and rural, wealthy and poor, and with large and small Black populations. Indeed, in over 96% of counties with more than 30,000 people in which at least 2% of the residents are Black, Blacks are arrested at higher rates than whites for marijuana possession."
Drug arrests are just one of the many problems happening amongst the black community. Marijuana prohibition isn’t the sole cause of the inequalities happening in today’s racial inequalities, but it's criminalization is one of the tools used to perpetuate existing stereotypes today.
Being in cannabis has made us realize that there needs to be a push for equality and inclusion for business leaders and people in the industry. Black and brown lives matter and we owe it to our country and to ourselves to take the steps to move forward in dismantling the powers of oppression at large. Let’s take this moment in time to listen, learn, and amplify the voices that need to be heard.