BOSTON — While marijuana use between black and white demographics is pretty much equal, black people are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession.
Considering the inherent racial bias that has plagued state and federal drug policies, the Cannabis Control Commission is "implementing a variety of programs to actively engage people from communities of disproportionate impact" and aid their inclusion into in the legal cannbis industry.
Minorities, specifically Blacks and Latinos, have felt the long-lasting effects of disproportionally high rates of incarceration for drug-related offenses (often times solely for possession) within their own families and communities.
As a way to establish equitable opportunities for those historically hindered by racism and bias, the CCC has established the Social Equity Program, designed to provide "professional training, technical assistance, and mentoring" to those "most affected by marijuana prohibition."
The main goal of the Social Equity Program is to break down the existing barriers within the legal cannabis industry, provide the same opportunities and tools for those facing systemic barriers and "promote sustainable, socially, and economically reparative practices in the commercial adult-use marijuana industry in Massachusetts."
In order to be eligible for the program, applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria: have lived in a community disproportionally impacted and harmed by marijuana prohibition for the past 10 years, either had a previous drug conviction themselves or have been married to or a child of someone with a previous drug conviction and have been a resident of Massachusetts for the past year.
To learn more about the CCC's equity programs, you can visit their website here.
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