King County Equity Now (KCEN)—an ecosystem of Black-led, accountable community-based organizations, Black elders, organizers, healers, and families fighting for equity now—and its supporters are calling on (i) all recreational cannabis shops in Martin Luther King Jr. County to commit to the Cannabis Equity Now calls to action (below) and (ii) all weed connoisseurs interested in seeing Black equity in WA to support this campaign.
Cannabis Equity Now Calls To Action For Cannabis Shops|
Your participation in the Cannabis Equity Now campaign will show solidarity and provide ongoing, material, long-overdue support for the Black cannabis community. Money donated will fund Black-led solutions toward cannabis equity and community care.
Cannabis use among Black and white adults is similar—nationally and state-wide. Yet in Washington, approximately 80% of all cannabis-related arrests from 1990 to 2017 that ended in felony convictions were of Black men.  While legalization has led to fewer cannabis-related arrests overall, racial disparities in arrests have actually increased. And Black adults are arrested at 5 times the rate of white adults . Historically, the push to criminalize cannabis use relied on false claims about cannabis’ “dangerous and terrible” effects and a racist association of the drug with its use by largely Black and Latinx peoples .
The persistent racial disparities in cannabis arrests, convictions, and sentencing have resulted in the violent disruption of Black communities, Black families and Black lives. Worse still, structural and systemic racism has prevented thousands of qualified Black peoples from participating in the cannabis industry today. Indeed, only 1% of licensed cannabis dispensaries in the country are owned by Black people . Time to move differently.
King County’s recreational cannabis shops have the opportunity and responsibility to begin repairing the harms that the War on Drugs inflicted on the Black community. You have the opportunity and responsibility to be on the right side of history, and lead the work towards creating a more inclusive legal cannabis industry.
After signing, a member from KCEN’s cannabis equity workgroup will contact you to answer any questions, provide next steps, and recommend ideas for ways to encourage your community and customers to support as well.
KCEN will be promoting shops in support of this campaign and cannabis equity, to find out which shops have committed to the demands check out @kingcountyequitynow on Instagram.
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