“The people most likely to be victims of marijuana prohibition are the least likely to profit in its aftermath.”
Somewhat lost in the 2016 election results was the fact that a number of states joined Washington, Colorado and Oregon in legalizing recreational marijuana, and many more states passed laws legalizing medicinal marijuana. As the national conversation around marijuana points to its eventual legalization on a federal level, there is still a lot of work to be done in the legalization process. Killer Mike penned an op-ed for Rolling Stone that criticizes lawmakers for making making it impossible for black Americans to get involved in the budding (and extremely profitable) industry.
Killer Mike cites a BuzzFeed report from earlier this year which found that only one percent of the country’s thousands of marijuana dispensaries are black-owned. Killer Mike, who writes under his government name Michael Render, highlights state laws that prevent convicted non-violent drug offenders from working in the marijuana industry. It’s no secret black men have been more severely affected by the War on Drugs than any other race, and Killer Mike points to the deep irony that “the people most likely to be victims of marijuana prohibition are the least likely to profit in its aftermath.”
Killer Mike cites a number of laws as good and bad examples, and encourages lawmakers in newly-legal states to consider the possible impact of the way they implement legalization and how they can help empower a disenfranchised group that has had few chances at wealth accumulation in America’s short history. The marijuana industry is expected to surpass $40 billion in revenue by 2020.