As legal marijuana grows in popularity, many Democrats are trying to make good on their promise to address racial equity by introducing new cannabis laws. This legislation includes several provisions aimed at improving the quality of life for minority visite site communities and ensuring racial equity, including the creation of three grant programs. Another provision allows for automatic expungements for previous cannabis offenses, which could allow disadvantaged people to access the industry.
But the ramifications of legalizing marijuana are far from clear. More than 70 million people in the U.S. have a criminal history. And a large portion of those are black and Latino. The disproportionately high number of people with criminal histories faces substantial barriers to employment, housing, and educational opportunities. Meanwhile, thousands of people with criminal records remain behind bars or are incarcerated at federal prisons.
Some advocates say the new law will have safeguards against racial discrimination in cannabis businesses. For instance, half of business licenses will go to people from high-enforcement communities, disabled veterans, women, and distressed farmers. This is a significant step toward preventing widespread discrimination and creating a more inclusive industry. However, there are some problems with these provisions. In addition to racial equity, some cities have not enacted such laws.
As marijuana sales started in California in early 2019, activists and politicians alike were touting the benefits of the new legislation. But there were many questions. The first question was whether the law was a “silent weed.” The answer auto mandarin haze was yes. The legalization of cannabis was a big promise for equity, but it has yet to deliver. As a result, activists and politicians are worried that marijuana businesses will create more jobs for white, largely male, people.
Supporters of the new law say it comes with guardrails. For instance, half of the business licenses will be awarded to people from high-enforcement neighborhoods. But the legislation also makes big promises on racial equity. But the real question is, did the politicians do enough to promote racial equity? If so, who will benefit? Obviously, the public will benefit. But that is only a partial answer.
In addition to the tax advantages, these laws also have other benefits. Besides decriminalizing marijuana federally, it would also help tax marijuana and expunge records. In other words, the legislation has a double edge: it would benefit black people and minorities, while making it more affordable for whites. It could also benefit the state’s economy. But it must be approved by voters before it becomes a reality.
In an interview with the New Yorker in January, President Barack Obama said, “We want to make sure that black people don’t feel like they’re being disadvantaged by the legalization of marijuana.” The state said in his interview that it wanted to find owners in war-on-drugs areas and that its “three-strikes” law should be changed. Moreover, he made the law racially neutral, allowing blacks to participate in the legal market.
As a result, the legislation has been criticized for its racial equity promises. Some of the states enacted “three-strikes” laws, which require criminals to repeat a crime after receiving a marijuana conviction. These laws have also created huge racial disparities. In fact, blacks are more likely to be arrested for possession of marijuana than whites.
Some states have introduced legislation that would protect blacks from being targeted for racial discrimination. The state also wants to create a commission to oversee the legal marijuana industry. The legislation passed by the Legislature will require the states to hire attorneys who have experience in cannabis regulations. But the process is complicated, and a family with a small budget is more likely to win than lose. One family fought for its right to be discriminated against in the cannabis industry, despite their success story.
The New Jersey law, for example, includes social justice measures aimed at disproportionately impacted communities. This means that a company may be barred from a license if it has a history of violent crimes. Some states have enacted more stringent criminal laws and have also implemented a social equity tax. Regardless of the legalization of marijuana, there is a risk of racial discrimination in the industry.