Legal cannabis must address social justicePosted by On


A marijuana plant.

Harrison Tuttle is executive director of Black Lives Matter Rhode Island PAC.

The criminalization of marijuana cannot be separated from the history of the mass incarceration of Black and brown communities, both nationwide and here in Rhode Island. 

Racial justice has not been part of the conversation in Rhode Island’s state legislature, where cannabis legalization proposals from Gov. Dan McKee and from the Senate have been silent on questions of equity and justice. I’m asking legislators who have posted on their social media or joined us in the street chanting “Black Lives Matter” last summer to examine whether your actions live up to your words. We must legalize cannabis. But legalization alone is not enough: we must legalize it in a way that delivers justice to those communities that have been disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition and by the war on drugs.

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A marijuana plant.

Harrison Tuttle is executive director of Black Lives Matter Rhode Island PAC.

The criminalization of marijuana cannot be separated from the history of the mass incarceration of Black and brown communities, both nationwide and here in Rhode Island. 

Racial justice has not been part of the conversation in Rhode Island’s state legislature, where cannabis legalization proposals from Gov. Dan McKee and from the Senate have been silent on questions of equity and justice. I’m asking legislators who have posted on their social media or joined us in the street chanting “Black Lives Matter” last summer to examine whether your actions live up to your words. We must legalize cannabis. But legalization alone is not enough: we must legalize it in a way that delivers justice to those communities that have been disproportionately harmed by marijuana prohibition and by the war on drugs.



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