Does The Legalization of Weed Have a Race Problem?

The race to legalize weed has been debated back and forth for a very long time now and even so as it is becoming legalized in certain states, there has been a noticeable change in the weed growing and selling industry. After reading and watching a video from BuzzFeed about the fact that the weed industry has become a race issue in the places in which it is legalized. People who have been caught before marijuana use was legalized, with any amount of weed are not allowed under any circumstances to buy or sell weed. Within the video, it is stated that people of color are 2-10 times more likely to be arrested and serve more time for a drug felony than those people not of color. This being said, now that weed has been legalized in places like Colorado, the African American community, because of a past marijuana felony, are not able to sell or have any contact with weed at all. Although, a lot of these people know the most beneficial ways to grow cannabis and are very skilled within the industry but because of the laws set in place and past felonies committed, they are not aloud to have anything to do with the selling or growing of marijuana.

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One story of a man of color named Unique Henderson, had a past felony where him and his friends at the age of sixteen were smoking a blunt and only him and his other friend of color were arrested not his two white friends. It brings up a challenge with Race where it is questioned if skilled sellers and growers from the “black market” are being left out. Another story of a white man who grows weed and sells from a dispensary in Colorado was caught with a couple ounces of marijuana and taken to jail although no charges ever came of his arrest. The comparison of these two men’s stories, one of color who only had a gram of weed compared to a white man who had a couple ounces of weed and the fact that the white man definitely didn’t have any trouble getting out of his charges however the man of color was left with a felony speaks volumes to the racial problems in society. Men and woman of color are therefore being left out of the legalization of weed because of their possible felonies that are more bound to happen to them than to a white person. weed growing

All in all, with the growth on legalization of weed, it could be interesting to see just how much racial issues are intertwined with the cannabis growing culture in the US. Thus far, in the places where pot is legal the “Black Market” is watched after by governmental officials more often than sellers/ growers of white decent. This in turn creates a racial divide between the white sellers and growers and the sellers/ growers of color.

The full Video of “Legal Weed Has a Race Problem

2 thoughts on “Does The Legalization of Weed Have a Race Problem?”

  1. This is a very interesting topic that tackles many problems that exist in America, especially racial issues. I agree with what you said about the fact that black people are being left out from the legalization of weed because they are more likely to get arrested than white people who use weed or other illegal drugs. It would be more informative if you mentioned that in the video it says, the use of illegal drugs between people of color and white people is at the same rate, but people of colors are far more likely to get arrested. This is the represents the systematic racism and discrimination that still exist in America. People of colors are being targeted more for doing the same thing as white people, which sometimes come in the way of people of color thriving and prospering in America. I am not saying that black people should not be arrested for using or possessing illegal drugs, I am saying that that people of colors should not be the only one to face the consequences.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think this is very interesting, in recent years I have heard a lot about the implications of the legalization of marijuana, but not regarding issues of racism. I think that what you discussed is a good example of the perpetuation of racism. It seemed to me that the reason people of color were not able to work in this industry was not necessarily because of racially biased employment, but because of a history of racially biased law enforcement. This makes me wonder if we can change systems like these immediately, without changing from the bottom-up, or if we’ll have to try to introduce fundamental changes and wait for them to affect the many parts of our society. Is it ok to wipe slates clean based on a history of racism? How do you choose which slates to wipe? These are very complicated questions and it seems hard and somewhat absurd to not handle them on a case by case basis, even if they ‘should’ be.


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