It’s becoming easier to forget the victims of inequality and unjust caused by The War on Drugs. Those Brown and Black brothers, fathers, uncles and cousins that were targeted for incarceration. The people whos faces and names are easily ignored as important as Cannabis is legalized across the land. As if there wasn’t a real war that involved people’s lives being changed and men and women being separated from thier homes.
I can’t help but wonder will my sons, sons be the generation to say, “I’m 1 generation from The War on Drugs” the same way I declare I’m 3 generations from slavery? Will those lives, whom are now illegally incarcerated in some states, be forgotten the same way Texas forgot the Sugar Land’s slavery and convict-leasing graves? Will all of America finally “do the right thing” and follow California’s lead by releasing ALL convicted Cannabis offenders?
I’m sorry I’m full of questions and not many answers today. But that’s exactly it, I’m full of questions because there are no answers. I appreciate and participate in the politics of Legalization, never forgetting who I am and what I represent. However I can’t always see the end result clearly and I’m not always sure I’m fighting the RIGHT fight. I have to be honest with myself and my readers and say, “SOMETIMES even I just see the money”
As a consultant there are times when my personal ethics are challenged. I call it my “Minority Over Money” challenge. I have to remind myself that assisting a Minority Cannabis business owner has more value than just money. Although often they are unable to pay as much as thier counterparts the reward isn’t in the dollars but also in serving my community…. AND the struggle is REAL! What if I don’t make the right choice? Am I am adding to the offense America is making against my people? Its important to get paid but equally important that I don’t forget that we are STILL at war.
Canada’s country wide Legalization resulted in America denying Canadians that are in the Cannabis industry pass thier borders. Also, those Americans that celebrated Legalization in thier own state are still criminals in another. It’s true some states have revised thier Cannabis laws attempting to prevent over policing Cannabis users. There are those other states, like Oklahoma, where they encourage Hemp farms but police Cannabis consumption and possession. Those states are furthering the efforts of the war.
The War on Drugs wasn’t to fight Marijuana exclusively and “maybe” wasnt to target Black and Brown men. But (hate to start my sentence with a but) I do wanna point out that according to the DEA in 2014 over 74,000 people were arrested for marijuana and only 33,000 for Cocaine and 44,000 for Hallucinogens. To add salt to the wound, The ACLU reports that Black men are 3 times more likely to be arrested for drugs. Although Blacks, Hispanics and white Americans reportedly use drugs EQUALLY. Black and Hispanics make up 29% of the over all nations population yet 75% of the prisons population. Meanwhile we are crying real tears for the separation of families at the borders. (Shade)
I’d like to believe there is some justice served by the War on Drugs. I’m not all the way jaded against the American Legal system. I STILL believe there could be “Liberty and Justice for All!” I want to believe that somehow targeting Black and Brown men for drugs was the cure to illegality. I’d even like to go as far as to say, I believe; all of God’s children, Black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” (DOCTOR King “I have a Dream) but this is 2018 and it’s more probable to believe that Cannabis will not be rescheduled until 2020. 47 states will legalize marijuana in some form by 2019 and there will be no laws passed to ensure reasonable standards of release for those effected by the War on drugs.
A’Esha “The GREAT ” Goins