The news is a massive step forward to repairing the damage of the war on drugs
The fact that “weed entrepreneurship” is no longer called “dealing” is a clear indicator that the consumption of marijuana has become an acceptable fad. But what about the weed dealers who have had their lives ruined by drug offences?
California has made one of the most progressive steps forward in terms of law reform. The state has now implemented a rule that anyone with marijuana-related charges can apply to have records of the offence reduced or eradicated completely. According to the Drug Policy Alliance, about one million California residents stand to benefit from this ruling.
It’s a tremendous step towards repairing the damage the war on drugs has done to working class and minority communities in the US, communities that were disproportionately targeted.
Having a clean record would allow people to vote, and make it easier to get loans and jobs. Speaking to Vice, Rayshon Williams who has been charged with a weed-related offence in the past said: “It really kind of affected me. The whole time, they’re not gonna hire you because they see that ‘F’ on your record.”
Since it was legalised in several US states, new “weed entrepreneurs” like streaming giant Netflix, high yoga instructors, and cannabis tampon lovers have made the formally stigmatised drug into a lucrative business. Meanwhile, about 750,000 people are arrested for marijuana possession every year, and 40,000 prison inmates have weed-related convictions.
However, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has scrapped some of the Obama era guidelines for handling profits made from the newly legal businesses which will still make it harder for banks to get behind these enterprises.