Blacks Haven't Benefited From Marijuana Legalization

Blacks Haven't Benefited From Marijuana Legalization
Photo by Ben Harding /
Photo by Ben Harding /
Will Florida legalize recreational pot? Medical marijuana is already legal. But who really cares? It's all bad for Miami's black community, where weed has helped drive the economy for years.

What governments aren't even mentioning is paying reparations to black-dominated countries or African-Americans who have lost or will lose their livelihoods from all of this legalization.

Legislators in Florida, more than anywhere else, have concentrated the power and money of pot in just a few hands — and almost none of them belong to African-Americans. Nationally, about 81 percent of cannabis business owners or founders are white, while only 4 percent are African-American, Marijuana Business Daily found last year.

And recreational weed, which has been legalized in ten states and the District of Columbia, has powerfully affected foreign trade from one of the few black-dominated Caribbean islands: Jamaica, the region's top exporter. Jamaica sends millions of dollars in ganja to the United States every year. So do Haiti, the Bahamas, and Belize, which also have significant black populations and are the next largest Caribbean suppliers of pot to the United States, according to a State Department report last year.

In most cases, felons, many of whom make their livelihoods from the drugs we now say should be legal, are prohibited from owning or having anything to do with marijuana companies. A disproportionate number of them are black.

No, authorities just continue arresting black people at a much higher rate than white people for marijuana. In the city of Miami and Miami-Dade County, commissioners agreed to issue tickets rather than arrest people for possession of marijuana — then continued arresting African-Americans.

The marijuana system, like many other industries, is rigged against the black man. Change it.
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