The perception surrounding cannabis is no secret. We’re all considered either criminals or lazy by a lot of people. Let’s talk about the inequality surrounding cannabis for a minute, though. What do I mean?
I’ve spoken before about being pulled over with cannabis and being let go, but let’s really examine that for a minute. Law enforcement in general has a reputation for oppressing black and brown people all over the country and using the letter of the law to do so. The law applies to some, but not others. I’m a white cishet woman. Why do I just get a “talking to” and another black person does jail time for the same offense? Because the system is corrupt. We all know that the system isn’t broken. It’s working exactly the way it was intended to.
The question I’d like an answer to is, why. Why do white people in power feel the need to oppress non-white people? My theory is that the white people in power fear them. They fear their ability and courage. They fear their sense of community and pride in that community. Let’s not forget Black Wall Street and what happened there. The white men in power destroyed black owned businesses because they feared how powerful they were becoming.
How does this relate to cannabis law? It’s a tool used to oppress. It’s that simple. It’s another way to keep black and brown people from doing too well in life. “The White Man” will do whatever it takes to stay in power and keep the status quo. That means making sure that no one realizes their true potential and accepts the reality those in power create. We all know how hard it is to find a decent job with a criminal record. Most colleges won’t admit anyone with a record, either. This is just another tool to keep the oppressed in their place.
As I’ve said before, I don’t think we’re powerless to change this. Talk to your community and the oppressed people there. Call/e-mail your state’s representatives. Speak out about cannabis and its benefits. Let people know that cannabis is safer than most prescription pain killers, anti-seizure meds and anxiety meds. If enough of us cause a fuss, they can’t ignore us forever. Let’s make it an issue.
If we do it together, we can change it.