Part 3: Re-Enslavement (3 of 4 parts)
These racist practices continued for decades until the War on Drugs. Former President Nixon’s anti-drug campaigns once again targeted people of color, rounding them up in jails where they live plantation-esque lifestyles, doing hard labor for little pay to benefit white corporations.
From 1970s until 2005, the United States prison population went from 300,000 inmates to over 2 million. That has resulted in 1 of every black children having a parent in prison, 92% of whom are fathers.
Even as recently as 2010, the ACLU reported that black cannabis users were between 4 to 9 times more likely to be arrested for nonviolent cannabis use than their white counterparts. Latin American immigrants face the prospect of deportation for minimum marijuana possession. Although all of these groups use marijuana at extremely similar rates, the evidence shows that people of color are penalized more often/more heavily for using the drug.
In my own life, I have seen my uncles, cousins and other family members imprisoned for simply self-medicating their depression, anxiety, and PTSD with cannabis.
Such racist policing of cannabis leads to even more trauma, depression, and creates a cycle of poverty that traps people. This destabilizes families and communities. The same thing cannot be said in white communities with white families and dealers.
So while CBD is being touted as the coolest shit since sliced bread, it’s important to keep this racial history in mind. These current trends are profiting off past and current high incarceration rates of black and brown people.
The industry is making millions upon millions of dollars growing trendy ‘hemp’ for all things CBD infused, people of color have been locked away for doing the same, costing them decades of missed time with their families and communities — sometimes even the rest of their life.
Pt. 4 is coming soon! Stay tuned 🙂