The war on drugs was never and is still not a war on drugs, it’s a war people. It’s an assault on Black and Brown communities. Since the 1970s, the War on Drugs has been used to cloak discriminatory policies that have incarcerated Black Americans, robbing them of economic opportunities, often their vote, and their freedom. You cannot separate marijuana legalization from the injustices of the War on Drugs.
The reality is that for a lot of white people across this country, marijuana is already effectively legal. It’s in communities that are over-policed and with large minority populations that there are still legal repercussions, and that lives are ruined all for something as minor as possession. The facts speak for themselves. Black Americans are far more likely to be convicted and sentenced for marijuana possession than white Americans. In fact, Black people are arrested for violating marijuana possession laws at nearly four times the rates of white people.
That’s why, along with legalizing weed for recreational and medicinal use, it is urgent that we expunge all marijuana records and release all nonviolent marijuana drug offenders immediately.
People’s livelihoods have been re-shaped, millions of lives have been altered. Families separated, educational opportunities blocked, jobs never offered. The tax revenue generated by legalization needs to be distributed back into the communities that have been damaged most by these laws and their reckless implementation. We need to do everything in our power to repair the damage that has been done. We can’t return stolen years or stolen lives. But we can write new stories for these communities. A story where the opportunities that were previously lacking are plentiful and where government serves not as a facilitator of injustice but as a vehicle for justice.
This campaign is about writing a new story for North Carolina and for America. About us coming together and taking an honest look at who we are as a country and where and how we have to improve. We’re ready to close the book on this racist chapter of our history. We’re ready to legalize, expunge, and invest. We’re ready for a new, more just America.
Sign on to our petition to legalize, expunge, and invest: act.ericaforus.com/signup/social_ms_ES_20210420_EA_federalmarijuanalegalization/