White Privilege and the Cannabis Market.

Updated: Sep 12, 2019



As more people wake up to the tremendous medicinal benefits of cannabis for pain therapy and PTSD, as well as the miraculous neurological and cancer healing properties found in the two main ingredients of the cannabis plant: CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (delta-g-tetrahydrocannabino), I remain hopeful that one day the sale of this natural healing plant will be available all across our great nation. 


That said,...I have a bone to pick. 


For years the American public has been told a lie about cannabis. Instead of being told about it's ability to shrink tumors, heal rheumatoid arthritis and help children suffering from seizures, this healing plant was demonized for both political and racial reasons. As a result, cannabis was unnecessarily deemed a schedule one drug which it is NOT. You can not overdose on cannabis and there are absolutely no lethal effects from this plant on your vital organ health. Cannabis is a natural healing plant which when used correctly serves as a gift to humanity. 


When the American government decided to demonize this plant, it created an opening for pharmaceutical companies to sell us opiates which are harmful and can absolutely lead to addiction, over-dose and death. It also created a culture war on inner city and African American communities. 


"The Nixon campaign in 1968 and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I'm saying? We knew we couldn't make it illegal to be either against the war or black but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did".

-John Ehrlichman (Nixon Advisor)


Now to be clear, although the intention was malicious, the Nixon administration was correct about one thing, heroin is an opiate and it is deadly. However, cannabis is not, it is a healing plant with wide reaching benefits that are still being discovered.

Today white men are becoming multi-millionaires off of the now legal sale of cannabis, while African American men who sold cannabis in their communities are either in prison or fighting an uphill battle to get back into the work force because of a felony charge from the sale of cannabis. That simply is not fair. People of color should be able to build wealth for their families and pursue entrepreneurial endeavors with the freedom of their convictions and the support of the government just like any other American citizen. However, the odds of that happening are very low when the rules consistently change in favor of the privileged and access is given only to the elite.


My fury over this gross injustice reached a new peak when I watched an episode of HBO's Vice, which profiled the money that is being made from the bourgeoning cannabis market. Vice is without question one of the BEST news shows on television. They waste no time on punditry or opinions, they report the facts...and these facts were despicable. 


The show in question featured two men (white) who have been deemed the "Kings of Marijuana".  They travel to The Congo searching for seeds for a more powerful strain of marijuana that will literally make them hundreds of millions of dollars. These two men are already millionaires because of the booming medicinal and recreational American cannabis market but they want more. This is my problem: They have gone into The Congo searching for this seed. They have paid the African chief and locals $50-$100 dollars to help them find the harvest so they can rape the land of seeds that are going to make them hundreds of millions of dollars.


Let me say it again...They paid the locals $100, they stand to make $700,000,000.00. I am sick with anger.


When will African's be able to capitalize off of their OWN LAND?! 

When will African Americans experience the same ability to make a profit and grow wealth in our communities instead of being villainized for doing the same thing that white men do to create generational wealth for their families?


How long must Africa lead the world to wealth with her resources (diamonds, minerals, etc) while the indigenous people of the continent suffer in poverty and disease? 


I couldn't watch the show until the end. I had to turn it off, I was too disgusted. I still am. 

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© 2019 Erin Wiley Sands.