April 6, 2022
By Richard Ormond
Starting in the 1930s when the modern era of drug enforcement laws was launched, communities of color were disproportionally caught in the crosshairs of the criminal-justice system in the United States, with prison populations looking nothing like a true cross-section of society. It is no secret that 1930s marijuana legislation was designed to target Amerindian, Mexican and Black communities by singling out their medicinal and cultural self-medication tools.
The generational damage to communities, families and society leveled by the subsequent Drug War was devastating. With modern liberal leanings, lawmakers are hopeful that a new batch of cannabis decriminalization laws coupled with “social equity” incentives will erase many of these injustices. The intent to rectify these pains is well-placed, but many of these Social Equity laws and regulations are harming rather than helping these intended beneficiaries.
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