The enforcement of the criminalization of marijuana is and always has been racist.
From Harry Anslinger in the 1930’s proclaiming “Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice” to current arrest data analyzed by the ACLU  finding that Black Americans are 3.6 times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana, despite consistent usage rates, I’ll repeat, the criminalization of cannabis is and has always been racist.
We’re never going to be able to solve America’s problems if we don’t strike at their root. And the House of Representatives, despite making progress in the previous session of Congress, still has not addressed the criminalization of cannabis since they were sworn in last January.
Send a letter to your members of Congress and tell them to recognize the harm of existing marijuana policing on Black Americans.
Nearly every day this month, we have seen headlines like “Teaching Black History Month made harder by new legislation limiting schools, educators”  or “New rules are limiting how teachers can teach Black History Month” . As the forces of white supremacy work everyday to white-wash our history and deny our country the ability to have an honest conversation about our problems, we must continue to constructively engage in the democratic process and make our views known to our elected Representatives.
I have been working on cannabis policy reform for years now and one of most inspirational rallying cries I have ever heard has been from an activist in Georgia named Sharon who would regularly declare “when we are talking, we are winning.”
And it’s true. We cannot “win” and “fix” the system if we do not talk about what is really wrong with it.
So please, before the end of Black History Month, use your voice and send a letter to your elected officials about the racial disparity in marijuana arrests.
This one message won’t alone settle the debate, but when thousands of us stand together to demand reform, we will not go unheard.
Founder, BOWL PAC
P.S. For years, among the Marijuana Justice Coalition members I’ve worked with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has stood out in their efforts to advance marijuana policy reform through a racial justice lens. Please visit their website to support them.
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