Cannabis and The Black and Brown Community- Hear from Black Business Owners and Employees in the Cannabis/ Marijuana Industry

Veronica Castillo
18 min readSep 23, 2019

Prohibition

It was in 1937 that the government decided to wreck our health and freedom with the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 (now properly spelled Marijuana Tax Act of 1937); cannabis became taxable. Then, in 1970, cannabis was outlawed with the Controlled Substance Act- also referred to as CSA. This is when the federal government decided that they would control how we treat our medical conditions and the plants that we are allowed to consume.

So, how did we get here? Information from drugpolicy.org states that just after the Mexican revolution, the United States saw an increase in immigration from Mexico. Cannabis came with, as medicine for relaxation, though referred to as “marihuana” (did you catch the tax act in paragraph 1? “Marihuana Tax Act of 1937”).

So, what did the media do?

The media began to play on the fears that the public had about these new citizens by falsely spreading claims about the “disruptive Mexicans” with their dangerous native behaviors including marihuana use, the rest of the nation did not know that this “marihuana” was a plant they already had in their medicine cabinets.”- drugpolicy.org-

Enforcement

Cannabis was vilified- though it was medicine, legal, and was proven to heal in the past. The government wanted to control new Americans and also have a reason to search and deport. It started in Texas and became a national movement.

During the hearings in these arrests, things like “marijuana makes men of color violent” and “marijuana makes men of color look for sex from white women” were stated/claimed. This worked in favor of the 1937 Tax Act; and though years later that act was ruled unconstitutional, it didn’t matter because there was, and still is, the Controlled Substance Act- CSA.

Enforcement of cannabis/weed prohibition laws resulted in 600K + arrests in the United States in 2017. The arrests affected people of color the most, who are about 4 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession…

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Veronica Castillo

I love Cannabis. I am an advocate and supporter of full legalization. I educate and inform via writing. 2020- journey around country to cover all things canna!