“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Though we usually like to focus on the positive and keep things light in the heavy times we are living in, there are bad things going on in the world right now that shouldn’t be ignored.
The tragic death of George Floyd is on our mind today. Even if it makes people uncomfortable or upset, we can’t ignore that injustice very much still exists – to do so would continue to perpetuate needless tragedy. George Floyd’s life mattered.
In our industry, though cannabis is becoming legalized in more states, inequities still exist. Despite equal usage rates, Blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana. Further studies conducted in areas of California solidify these findings – in San Diego you are 6 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana crimes if you are black.
Legalization must also come with limitations on how law enforcement can interact with individuals they suspect of having marijuana. That is why we will always oppose overreaches like the open container law proposed last session.
There aren’t any easy answers to fixing things – but acknowledging that the status quo is unacceptable is a good start.
For those who choose only to focus on coverage of riots and looting – please read below and understand why Dr. King rightly said, “a riot is the language of the unheard.” He strongly advocated for peaceful protest, but acknowledged the reasoning behind unrest in a 1967 speech called the, “Other America,”
“Certain conditions continue to exist in our society, which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots. But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the Negro poor has worsened over the last few years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice, equality and humanity. And so in a real sense our nation’s summers of riots are caused by our nation’s winters of delay. And as long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention…”
We must work harder to bring forth the change needed – there is so much we can do. Whether it be simply recognizing the injustice of these tragedies, donating to causes that support freedom, or advocating for laws that do not open the door to issues such as profiling (in the case of cannabis possession).