-East Bay Express-
“The War on Drugs fueled the modern-day prison industrial complex for decades, and many politicians now agree that it was a misguided federal policy that resulted in the needless incarceration of millions of Americans — particularly Black and Latino folks. From 1990 to 2010, the amount of people in state prisons for drug offenses increased by 52 percent according to the American Civil Liberties Union. These arrests for non-violent crimes tore apart communities of color nationwide, separating families and saddling the loved ones of incarcerated individuals with financial burdens — from legal costs to drastic reductions to their household incomes.
Though California has relatively progressive policies in place in regards to drug offenses, people of color remain disproportionately criminalized. And as California’s medical cannabis industry expands, state licensing policies that discriminate against folks with felony convictions and a white-washed industry culture threaten to prevent the very people unfairly targeted by the War on Drugs from profiting from medical cannabis now that it’s legal in the state.”