The California Cannabis Equity Alliance calls for a focus on social justice in cannabis
California has long been weak for not being an inclusive social justice space and for taking the steps some other states have taken with regard to inclusion. Now, a group of social justice leaders from across the state that make up the California Cannabis Equity Alliance are planning a protest to express their demands and wishes for the state.
This Monday, May 17th, at 9:30 am PST, on the western steps of the state capital, the group will meet and present their “vision for economic justice and fairness” in the state cannabis industry.
Speakers at the event include Kika Keith, president of the Social Equity Owners and Workers Association in Las Angeles; Malaki Amen, executive director of the California Urban Partnership / Institute for MORE in Sacramento; Nina Parks director of equity trading at Original Equity Group in San Francisco; Lanese Martin, director of The Hood Incubator in Oakland; Cesar Casamayor of The People’s Dispensary in Fresno and Amber Senter, Director of SuperNova Women in Oakland.
“California has made some progress in reinvesting cannabis tax revenues to support youth programs and cope with severe trauma, but the state continues to ignore the business development problems posed by the legacy of racist marijuana policy enforcement,” said Malaki Amen, executive Director of the California Urban Partnership, according to a press release. “The real truth here is that the state cannot claim to support the black and brown children of drug war survivors. especially when billions of generational wealth are intentionally transferred away from their families. ”
State funding for enforcing flawed cannabis operations in California currently stands at $ 89 million, much more than funding allocated to social justice programs. Currently, California’s social justice budget is only $ 15.5 million. Social justice programs can help those affected by the war on drugs or disproportionately represented in the industry step up and join the industry. According to the coalition, the focus in California is still on wealthy, non-marginalized investors.
“At a time when state marijuana tax revenues have soared from around $ 500 million to just under $ 1 billion a year, funding for a new drug war in California will continue to grow,” said Kika Keith, president of the Los Angeles-based social equity and workers’ association. “The judiciary is calling on California to stop funding a new drug war. We need the state to provide the capital and the environment necessary for social equity operators to have a fair share of the market in the legal cannabis industry. ”
Support for the California Cannabis Equity Alliance
While this action came from a private group outside the government, it already has some government support. Senator Steven Bradford, a Gardena-born Democrat, will attend the demonstration in support of Social Justice and the California Cannabis Equity Alliance. He is also the author of SB 1294, the California bill that set the initial framework for funding social justice in the state.
Anyone interested in joining in and supporting this effort is welcome to join the California Cannabis Equity Alliance on the west steps of the Capitol Building on Monday, May 17 at 9:30 am PST. Participants are asked to wear a mask to demonstrate. More information on how to register via livestream or share virtually will be available shortly.
With the ongoing demand for social justice and the focus on people of color and other minorities gaining access to the cannabis industry, groups like the coalition are calling on lawmakers and those in power to make changes so that more people have the opportunity to immerse themselves in legal cannabis .