In the world of legal cannabis, a new phrase has taken over: Social Equity. What does this really mean? Social Equity in the cannabis industry is an attempt to level the playing field for individuals who were negatively impacted by the prohibition of cannabis.
Long before the re-legalization of cannabis began to spread across the United States, Black and Brown folks were and continue to be disproportionately arrested and locked up for cannabis related offenses. Those most impacted by the War on Drugs have historically been Black and Brown individuals from low-income communities. Militarized policing targeted to these low-income communities has led to generations of Black, Brown, and poor white folks being pushed into the criminal justice system and denied social mobility.
This legacy lives on today, reinforced through the governmental and financial structures that continue to systematically exclude those most harmed by the United States’ failed War on Drugs.
Oviedo, Dana, "Social Equity: Will the Cannabis Industry Choose to Overcome Its Lack of Diversity?" (2021). Golden Gate University Race, Gender, Sexuality and Social Justice Law Journal. 11.