Black Leaders AWOL on Top Social Issue
Facts: There are 21 legal medical marijuana states and DC and 5 states pending medical marijuana legalization in 2014. By 2015 over half the states our the Union, could be allowed the produce, distributed, sell and use of medical marijuana legally. Meanwhile, President Obama during his White House Correspondence Diner on May 3rd, 2014, he jokingly said referring Legalized Recreational Use of Marijuana in the States of Colorado and Washington as a social experiment they are allowing, he said to this effect that, “We are not eavesdropping on people in Washington and Colorado, having stupid conversations over the phone, as a part of our social experiment taking place that we are allowing.”
How did he know the conversations were stupid? The NSA? What do you think is really happening?
Facts and opinion based on trends: With 2 States allowing recreational marijuana and 25 States allowing medical marijuana to be sold in their States and a Federal Government not enforcing the marijuana drug laws, with the understanding that marijuana is listed as a schedule one drug (one of the most dangerous drugs on the streets) by the DEA. Compounded by the Attorney General Eric Holder’s position to ease up on the sentencing guidelines for non violent drug offenses, what do you really think will be the natural transition or future plans? We predict that one of President Obama last acts aside from his presidential pardons, will be the signing of legislation to end the prohibition of marijuana in the whole United States. He leaves office in only 970 days on 20 January 2017. The countdown has begun!
My argument is there are no nationally recognized black leaders or investors on the forefront of this serious social issue that is also a serious economic issue. Our focus as black people seems to be as consumers only, focusing on who will be able to use the drugs to get high, for medical purposes or our plans to never use such a drug as good Christian of sorts. Yet already we have a $40 billion marijuana crop in the United States, which is our most valued crop by far and Gov. Scott of Florida just agreed to sign a bill into law SB 1023 that will allow the State of Florida to grow a marijuana crop worth about $7.5 Billion easy or about 20% of our current total product.
Yet from first glace, his plan doesn’t even include black people as potential distributors. We will not even be able to bid in the State of Florida for a medical marijuana dispensary. Unless we have black owned plant nurseries that was in business for 30 continuous years and can produce at least 240,000 plants, even Oprah Winfrey money is not good in the State Florida as far as marijuana goes, unless she wants to smoke some, under Gov. Scott’s watch. So I wonder how many black owned marijuana farms or dispensaries are there in the United States of America. This is something we must start paying attention to. And something wealthy black should concern themselves with. These unfair business practices is a clear cut blackout.
Another concern is how they have been deciding on where to place medical marijuana dispensaries and how many can operate in a given State. And the way they are doing it is racially biased, yet I heard not one black voice raise the question as to why and how do they justify this distribution system laws and restrictions.
Fact: There are about 1 marijuana dispensaries for every 10 pharmacies in each state. First of all pharmacies are located were there are people who have health insurance.
Fact: 30.4% of Hispanics, 17% of blacks, and 9.9% of whites do not have health insurance. While Hispanics are 17% of the population, black 12% and white about 65%, then when we consider the poverty level of each group, we will be able to determine how many people have private insurance. Marijuana as a medication is not recognized by any government insurance such as Medicaid, Medicare or Veterans Benefits. So what is the correlation between how many Pharmacies exist in a given State as a determining factor as to how many medical marijuana dispensaries will be able to open and where they will be placed?
While our black leadership is AWOL on these social and economic issues, they are designing a distribution system that will exclude black people as investors other than as a consumer of these drugs. And the tend is gaining momentum from State to State and will become the nationwide policy, if we do not quickly become a part of the process of the legislative creation on marijuana sales and distribution.
While they are in all reality addressing a serious social problem, which is that they really cannot afford to continue to fund the enforcement of the prohibition of marijuana anymore, they pitched us a curveball to create a blackout in the legislative intent. They devised a plan to distribute medical marijuana first as a way to determine who can distribute it on these basis, so when it becomes legal by federal law as a recreational drug, the distribution system of marijuana will not include many black people and will be setup.
Fact: Black are about 4 times more likely to get busted for marijuana than whites, and in proportion to the population the disparity is about 15 times more likely for blacks to get arrested.
This is the proper indicator as to where marijuana is being sold to the consumers and who is selling it to them and how much. It is not being sold near our neighborhood Walgreen’s Pharmacy. It is being sold by black people in black ghetto communities and little of the money stays in our community and that is the problem. But somehow the location of pharmacies and not black communities has become the determining factor as to how many and where the legal market will take place. There is something very wrong with this picture. It is clearly a hypocrisy!
Marijuana is the biggest and its most valued crop in the United States estimated at about $40 billion and it is about to hit Wall Street as a major commodity, after they divide the distribution licenses among themselves. Its value will at least double in 5 to 10 years upwards and above $80 Billion annually. While blacks are a major influence in this legislative change, it clearly doesn’t address the black disposition in the policy decisions. Illegal drugs have destroy our community, so now you legalize it and exclude of in the legal process to determine how it will be controlled and regulated?
So I say to our black leadership and investors, wake up and become involved in this nation changing event. Black leaders with nationwide appeal must open up to these issues creating nationwide social and economic dialog. People like Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev, Jesse Jackson, Magic Johnson, Min. Louis Farrakhan, Oprah Winfrey, Spike Lee, Sean Combs, Mr. & Mrs. Carter and the many influential black people, must put their money and influence behind this issue to become allowed by law to invest in its distribution.
If we do not act soon, we will be once again left behind tomorrow, while owning an urban basketball team for $1,000,000,000. We will be excluded from a multi-billion dollar industry with world wide prospects and future growth. Therefore as the consumers we are, we will be able to smoke our weed and watch basketball, music videos, and comedies, while we merely dream about making it big pros one day. But merely surviving in America. Because we are not really included the real economic community controlling issues.
Conjecture: Aside from someone on a white horse coming out of the sky, black’s in America only real hope for black community redevelopment nationwide; as a means of recovery from the many years of this war on drugs, whose frontline was in our communities, is the reinvestment of the profits from marijuana production, distribution and sales made in our State and community. And this can and will only happen if we are involved in the legislative process, while securitizing every decision made, will this happen.
Rev. Frank Paul Jones aka Apostle Paul Caste