This article by Olivia was originally published on NisonCo, and appears here with permission.
An increased number of states legalize cannabis each year, leaving activists, legislators, and industry members grappling with how to shape the fledgling industry. Many are worried about seeing a homogenous, wealthy few dominate the industry post-legalization while racial minorities are excluded from cannabiz. Accordingly, it is crucial the cannabis industry works to mitigate the legacy of the War on Drugs and the communities devastated by its impacts.
The Disproportionate Effects of the War on Drugs
It is well-documented that Black and Latino communities were most negatively impacted by the War on Drugs. Higher arrest and incarceration rates in these communities, despite using cannabis at the same rate as their white counterparts, are some of the ways in which the War on Drugs effectively reinforced structural racism.
Recently, states legalizing cannabis for recreational adult use have been trying to address the racist legacy of the War on Drugs. Some states are using the tax revenue collected from cannabis sales to invest …