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Decade of Change: Reflecting on 10 Years of Cannabis Legalization and Its Impact on Racial Justice in America




As we mark a decade since the pioneering move of Colorado legalizing recreational cannabis, it's super important to reflect not just on the widespread adoption of legalization but on the deeper, more pressing issue of racial equity within our justice system. This milestone isn't just about the freedom to light up, it's a stark reminder of the ongoing struggle against a system that has disproportionately imprisoned POC (particularly black men) for cannabis-related offenses.

a map showing the 10-YEAR PROGRESS SINCE COLORADO'S LEGAL RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA LAUNCH showing which states were Legal for recreational use,  Legal for medical use, Illegal, or Decriminalized in olive green burnt sienna and gray and black with an ivory background

The past ten years have been a journey of awakening and advocacy, revealing the fucking massive disparities and injustices embedded in the war on drugs. Yeah legalization is a step forward, but it's only the beginning of addressing the layers of racial injustice and rewriting a narrative that goes far beyond just decriminalization. This is a call to action to critique, challenge, and revolutionize our approach to cannabis legislation and its intertwined relationship with racial justice in America. As we get into the complex world of cannabis legalization and its cultural impact, I want to make one thing clear to my readers: you can expect an honest, no-nonsense discourse from me. It's undeniable that white people have played a significant role in creating a positive culture around cannabis which I'm not complaining about in and of itself. Yet what often goes unaddressed is the glaring contradiction in how many black men are currently languishing in jail for doing exactly what is now openly celebrated. This silence is not just deafening; it's a glaring example of racial injustice. My commitment to you is to shed light on these hard truths and to create a conversation that's not just about legalization, but about equity, fairness, and the urgent need to address these deep-seated disparities. We need to talk about the whole picture, and that's exactly what I intend to do.

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