social reform and cananbis legalization
social reform and cananbis legalization

Is Mixing Social Justice with Marijuana Reform Doing More Harm Than Good Right Now?

Tying social justice to cannabis legalization may be hurting both efforts in this political environment

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Thursday Jun 23, 2022

social justice and cananbis reform

Don’t mix Social Justice with Marijuana Reform!


Teamster politics is killing the world. The world has been clamoring for cannabis legalization for decades now and we’re seeing it come to fruition incredibly slowly. There is no real reason for the delay. Banks are in agreement. People are in agreement. Even politicians are saying yes!


Yet for some reason, nobody can come to terms on how to do it. The Republicans want to make it the most profitable for their Wall Street “bromies” and milk the marijuana industry for all they can – while the Democrats wants to use it as a Trojan horse to push their social justice measures.


As a result, nobody is getting on board with either party’s politics. And this is precisely the problem!


While it’s true, there have been much damage done to many communities due to the War on Drugs.  Trying to retroactively fix it by legalizing cannabis isn’t going to undo the damage. Additionally, it’s important to remember that the War on Drugs (which is still going on by the way) is sustained by both Republicans and Democrats.


Trying to use cannabis as a means to “give back to the marginalized” while simultaneously sustaining the very mechanism that wreaked havoc on their communities is hypocritical at best and outright psychotic at its worst.


Schumer has been touting as the champion of cannabis legalization – for years now. Yet has done very little to actually get anything done. He makes it seem like it’s “Schumer against the Establishment”, but the truth of the matter is that he complicates the legalization process by interjecting unrelated topics with cannabis.


Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told The Hill that Democrats are working to add social equity measures to the bill, which is backed by members of both parties.


“We’re trying to add some of the social justice provisions and see if we can come up with a compromise,” Schumer said.  – The Hill


Now, I’m not saying that there should not be some sort of changes with past offenders. Of course, people who have been arrested for cannabis offenses and people who are currently in jail should have their records cleaned and prisoners should be set free.


However, it’s when you enter into “which marginalized community should get how much percentage of the licensing”, etc.


What this does is open the debate on “what is the Fair amount you pay someone for ruining their community with your policies for decades?” Yet also, why restrict people who would have a natural tendency to grow the market.


The fact that you’re marginalized doesn’t automatically qualify you for administration duties – yet more than often when it comes to affirmative action policies, they tend to not do as much as promised. Many times only to be hijacked by corporations posing as social equity partners.


“The conversation between Leader Schumer and Congressman Joyce was part of an ongoing, broader discussion between both parties and chambers to determine what reform can pass this Congress,” Joyce’s office said in a statement. “It is evidence of the sincere efforts by both the Leader and the Congressman to find common ground for substantial, bipartisan progress on this issue.” – The Hill


With a handful of Democrats pushing for broader social reforms, the Republicans are pushing a more economy-first model.


The thing is, we should not need to mix these issues. While it’s true, the war on drugs has negatively affected marginalized communities…adding in these social justice revisions within the cannabis legalization bills will not solve their problems.


Rather, separating the act of legalization from social reform will most probably have the greatest impact on all aspects.


The Republicans (and I hate to say it) is right in trying to keep it simple with legalization. However, it’s imperative that any type of legalization scheme include some sense of “personal growing protections”. What’s the point of legalizing weed if you can’t legally grow it at your own home?


Of course, this will most probably come down to state legislation, however, it would be nice to see individual protections addressed when it comes to possession, cultivation, etc.


However, the major push for reform comes in the form of banking. And this is something that both parties should technically be in agreement.


The lack of banking has created a problem considering that cannabis businesses are forced to deal in cash only – they become prime targets for robberies. This makes the communities around them less safe and the solution to the problem is quite simple…let banks have protections against prosecution if they work with legally sanctioned cannabis money.


Of course, the way that the government works is by having policies connect to policies…meaning that in order to do that, they would have to amend other protocols in law enforcement. But so what?


Keep it Green, then reform the rest…


If you’re hoping to bring social equity to the table, perhaps it would be proper to stop doing what’s harming marginalized communities first, prior to discussing what compensation you will be bestowing on people.


The problem isn’t the lack of social justice in cannabis reform, it’s the fact that the policy that affected minority communities is still in effect. In fact, legalizing cannabis will do “some” but very little in correcting the social wrong.


All it will do is create a black market for other drugs, which would then be met by force by law enforcement, and once again – the place where this all goes down is in those same marginalized communities.


If cannabis is no longer a cash crop for cartels and gangs, they easily pivot to other drugs such as heroin or methamphetamines which typically is easier to move, store and sells at a higher price than cannabis.


We can already see this happening south of the border in Mexico. The cartels are swopping their cannabis fields for poppy fields, because once cannabis stop being a lucrative export – they had to adapt to the times.


Unless Democrats deal with the root of the problem, all their social justice reform is just empty promises. It’s feel good policies that will do very little to eradicate the mechanism that goes after black and brown people at a higher rate than their white counterparts.


Cannabis should be legalized for the sake of cannabis commerce and medical access. The social justice issues should not be lumped with cannabis reform, but should stand as a “thing on its own”.


It’s time we review our drug policies, it’s been more than 50 years since the declaration of the War on Drugs and I believe we have more than enough data to show how ineffective that policy truly is. If you’re looking for social justice, if you’re looking for a brighter tomorrow – then the only logical step forward is to end the war on drugs.


Otherwise it would be the same as advocating for the rights of victims of rape, while watching the rape happen and doing nothing about it. If you want to fix Social Justice problems…it’s good advice to focus on elements of “Justice”.


Cannabis is about health and commerce. While people associated with the plant has been negatively affected by another social policy doesn’t intricately link the two causes together. If you were to legalize cannabis and end the war on drugs, you’ll do more for social justice than you’d ever know. You’d immediately turn the people who live in these “hot communities” from targets of the police into regular citizens.


Drugs should not be illegal…because if you can drink yourself into a coma, you should also be able to shoot yourself up into a coma, snort your way into a coma, huff your way into a coma. Addiction should be treated from a health-first perspective as opposed to law-first…and drugs should be taxed and sold at licensed establishments catering to consenting adults.


That’s how you provide Justice to those wrongfully imprisoned for cannabis...but it starts by untangling the two conflated problems.








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