Although it might be 4/20 on Thursday, there is still no denying that weed works differently for people that possess the drug in America. As Jay Z explained in his short film “A History Of The War On Drugs: From Prohibition To Gold Rush,” black and Latinx people are punished more often than white people for having marijuana.
In this video, Franchesca Ramsey, a host and producer for MTV’s Decode (and who will be getting her own Comedy Central show), reminds viewers of this disparity as she examines if legalized weed can combat discrimination.
“Weed was originally made illegal in the ’30s because America has historically been racist as f**k,” Ramsey begins. She then states how black people are nearly four times as likely to be arrested for marijuana as a white person.
However, Ramsey does offer some optimism, speaking to how the legalization of marijuana in places such as Colorado and Washington State has reduced arrests by 50 percent and 98 percent, respectively.
“Since any drug arrest leads to loss of benefits, this means more people of color can continue to access jobs, student loans, public housing, and a variety of government services,” Ramsey states in regards to marijuana legalization.
But marijuana legalization goes beyond just smoking it, with marijuana industry encompassing everything from properly growing the weed to making weed-based food.
“Food, music and cannabis — all these things bring people together. We use food because it is communal and steeped in celebration. There is nothing more communal than cannabis. No greater equalizer. Come to one of our dinners and I’m gonna give you a brief education. There was a time you could get a prescription at your local pharmacy for cannabis. This was a legitimate medicine. Another thing we teach is that we don’t use the “m” word,” Mike said.
“It came from propaganda — of course, people will say we own it — but it is still not a scientific term,” Mike added. “If you want people to believe in your word and take you seriously then use the terminology that represents it correctly in that world.”
Check out Ramsey’s video below.