More than anything, I don’t want our young people of color to be unfairly targeted or prosecuted. They’re just smoking and self-medicating, not necessarily doing anything wrong. When they are 4 times more likely to get into the system, that has an impact on your life, forever. I am fortunate. For others, being unfairly targeted, it ends their life.
IT WASN'T A JOKE,
WE DIDNT LAUGH ABOUT IT.
As a young man, I was faced with some difficult decisions.
I grew up in a community where young boys and girl solved their problems using guns and street violence. It was an absolute war zone.
At that time, it wasn’t normal for people to go to a psychiatrist to talk about their issues; I used cannabis, music, and art to find a way to break away. It helped at different points, during stressful situations.
JOIN THE MOVEMENT
AS AN ESTABLISHED LAWYER
who has run national campaigns, participated in national politics, and now I have an opportunity to give young brothers a shot, I think that’s amazing. What really broke me, was a doctor telling me my daughter wouldn’t walk, or wouldn’t have a life without seizures. Anyone who has a kid understands exactly what I’m talking about; they’ll stop everything and say what can I do to fix this? As a parent, going to a doctor to speak about your child using cannabis for medicinal purposes, you should not have to have the fear of your child being taken from you, particularly when these drugs have been proven to stop epileptic seizures.
DURING THE NIXON
& REGAN ADMINISTRATION
There was push to go after cannabis and it was coupled with the war on drugs, even though research proved otherwise. Unfortunately, it carried on through other administrations, and a lot of young, people of color went to jail and research wasn’t done. We should put politics aside and focus on doing right by people. We shouldn’t be distracted. Let’s talk about the real issues.
THING WE HAVE TO DO
Is meet with various groups We have to have a fund set aside to do disparity studies. Some states are saying, if you have a conviction on drugs, you are not allowed in the industry. However, they will allow those with white collar offense to get into the industry. There also has to be access to funds and community reinvestment. There are many at the table who know how to do this properly. We have to make the noise. It can be fixed. This industry can be the blueprint for equitable distribution.
When you look at other industries; tobacco, alcohol, gambling, they all presented problems that needed to be resolved when they were going through legalization. That’s what the legislators are there to do. We need to talk about how to do it. It’s not fair to not do it because of unintended consequences. Black and brown people are disproportionally affected by not dealing with decriminalization. We need to make a move.