While Folks Are Becoming Millionaires, So Why Aren’t Minorities Profiting Off The Marijuana Industry???
The marijuana industry is big business and more Blacks need to tap into this booming income. Now what stops Blacks from even getting the courage to try to jump into the marijuana business is the old stigma of ‘drugs are bad’. However, let us look at some things first. For so long many in the Black community have been being arrested for petty marijuana charges. In addition, these people are not major drug kingpins they are consumers. 88% of those arrested in 2014 were for possession of small amounts of marijuana. 40% of all drug related arrests in 2014 were for possession and not production or sale of marijuana.
Now think about how that number affects the justice and penal system. Moreover, this contributes to the outstanding numbers of many Black men and women doing prison sentences for drug possession when they should be at work living their lives. About 700,000 people are arrested annually on marijuana related charges, some of which are given a felony, which ruins their life and keeps them in poverty.
Legal marijuana and the marijuana industry has been a $700 million dollar moneymaker in the state of Colorado in 2015, just think about that for a minute. Also, think about how many people you personally know that have marijuana charges and how those charges have affected their lives. Did they get super rich or did they have a mega farm to grow marijuana? Alternatively, were they just a regular person who was caught with marijuana and a victim of the war on drugs fiasco? Let me stop for a minute and explain how marijuana became illegal in the first place.
What is Hemp? Just another word for marijuana. Cannabis hemp was one of the most widely used plants in the early part of American history. After the Mexican revolution an influx of immigration of Mexicans into states like Texas and Louisiana, they brought with them their own cultural practices and customs. These immigrants referred to this plant they used as “marihuana”. Americans were familiar with cannabis because it was present in many things they used in medicines and such. The word marihuana was foreign to them and the media began to play on the fears of the American citizens by spreading false claims. Calling the Mexican immigrants disruptive and dangerous with their native ways and use of marihuana not knowing that it is the same plant they have already been using themselves.
Therefore, what did they [Americans] associated the use of marihuana with was Mexican immigrants as an excuse demonize both the Mexican and this new marihuana. Also during a hearing in the 1930’s claims were made about marijuana’s ability to cause men of color to become violent and try to solicit sex from white women. This was a major influence of the marijuana tax act of 1937, which banned the sale, and use of marijuana. Now this act was deemed unconstitutional, but was later changed to the controlled substance act in the 1970’s, which established scheduled rankings for substances according to their dangerousness and potential for addiction. Cannabis was placed into the most restrictive category schedule 1. Now we all know that marijuana should not have been deemed a schedule 1 drug because it has not considered illicit in nature.
Fast forward to today and we see that this once considered dangerous drug has some states economies booming. However, who is benefiting from this newfound money wave. I can tell you that it is not the Black community because we still have sons, brothers, daughters, and fathers behind prison walls serving time. In addition, another segments of the Back community scared to tap into this new stream of income because of trust issues we have with the authorities.
Why haven’t more Blacks tried to go legit? In many of the states that have legalized marijuana people with drug related felony convictions cannot open a cannabis related business! Secondly, the fees for medical marijuana dispensaries often are in the tens of thousands of dollars. In addition, Black farmers who would like to grow marijuana are being shut out of this industry due to certain legislatures. Because they are only allowing nurseries to grow marijuana under tight constraints. Will this be another case of us watching others get wealthy while we try to figure out how to gain access to this business??? It’s time to figure out which strain is best for you and get in the business before it’s too late!
I have read countless articles of how white men are now becoming millionaires selling weed, while Blacks sit in jails and prisons for doing the same thing. On top of that, the same Blacks are finding out that they cannot even get into the legal business because of the famed war on drugs that targeted them In the first place.
We need to do better people. We need to get into the marijuana industry.
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