Las Vegas artist Stephanie Amon paints a portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Jardin Dispenary in Las Vegas.
“In any civilized society, it is every citizen’s responsibility to obey just laws. But at the same time, it is every citizen’s responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” -Dr. Martin Luther King
Dissent is indeed the highest form of patriotism among advocates of cannabis who have long fought not only for their right to partake, but also for the rights of those targeted in the war on marijuana — overwhelmingly people of color.
Now, even the stalwarts in the war on weed are coming around, in part, to address the racial disparity.
“Legalize adult-use cannabis,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo during his State of the State address this week. “Stop the disproportionate impact on communities of color and let’s create an industry that empowers the poor communities that paid the price and not the rich corporations who come in to make a profit.”
Not long ago Cuomo called marijuana a “gateway drug.” Now he’s authored The Cannabis Act, which states:
“It is hereby declared as a policy of the state of New York that it is necessary to properly regulate and control the cultivation, processing, manufacture, wholesale and retail production, distribution, transportation and sale of cannabis, cannabis-related products, medical cannabis and hemp cannabis within the state of New York, for the purposes of fostering and promoting temperance in their consumption, to properly protect the public health, safety and welfare, and to promote social equality.”
Thirty-three states allow medical use of marijuana while ten permit recreational use. Lawmakers in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York are primed to vote on legalization this year.
While the assault on marijuana is being turned back across the nation, the fight to restore justice rages