For those who don't face criminal charges for drug possession,
their sense of relief is short-lived as states move towards
charging individuals with crippling court fees and fines instead of pushing for tax
increases to fund their court systems. In Texas, a minor drug
possession could result in a fine of up to $2,000 (£1,600). As such
monetary penalties disproportionately impact people of colour, they
underscore the racially segregated lines of poverty and rates of imprisonment.
While these charges may seem relatively small to some
individuals, people on low incomes often struggle to pay off these
debts, making it harder for them to successfully move through
society. When we look at the correlation between punishment,
poverty and inequality, we realise that the dramatic increase in
America's prison population is inherently linked to the War on
Drugs. By and large, the increased demand for more cannabis
products and experiences has not changed the realities for Black
and Hispanic people - mainly men - who fall victim to America's
criminal justice system.
The cannabis industry is, of course, one of many ways that
racism, privilege and their consequences have become entrenched in
everyday life. Do something concrete to change the material
conditions of Black, Hispanic and other people of colour.
Educate yourself. Support Black-owned businesses. Donate to the
organisation that work tirelessly to make sure that people who are
targeted by America's criminal justice system are seen and