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Narrative Interview #2
*****All content from the #TalkingPoints Anthology are created and owned by Adison Wilson, and Citizen Underground Media
By Adison W. / filmsforaction.org
Dec 12, 2015

 

 

 

Patient, "D" Michigan

My experience, well I can tell you that I have been smoking for about a year now. I am 30 and I started it to try something different. I have been a big drinker and now I have been switching over to smoking from drinking. I live in Michigan so the only way to do it legally is through medically. So, I went through the proper channels and got a card for it. My experience in the year that I have been doing it is two fold. The first is the people who do it illegally. You have shady dealers who pass you stuff with seeds and going to unsafe neighbors and the fear of getting robbed or worst. Then you have the people who did it legally. They are some of the nicest and most understanding people ever. They are very helpful and very understanding.
I am still very much a closet smoker. There are a couple of reasons for that. The first is that since I am a black man, I try not to deal with the stereotypes. The second is that I have a corporate job. Even though my company does not drug test I do not want people to look at me any differently.


@culture__junkie:
I completely empathize with your situation--both on a professional and social level. I hope that conversation will change with education, and forward thinking. Do you believe white privilege has also influenced the Cannabis Culture, and if so how do you believe we can begin to combat that injustice?

Patient D

I really do not like using that term. Sure a lot of black people are at a disadvantage, however, it is up to them in order to try to equal it out. Struggling just makes people tougher and appreciate things more when you get it.
In any case, to answer your question, yes it does. It was first influenced by it in order to get it banned not only in the United States but in most of the world. Second, it is currently influencing it by getting it unbanned in the United States and in the rest of the world.
There is no way to combat the injustice. Nothing that we can do will be able to get anyone's life back that was in jail. Or for the people who get killed by the trade of cannabis. What we can do now is stop arresting people for it and have government regulations for control.

 

@culture__junkie: Thanks again for your time D. 

 

Undoubtedly, #CannabisCulture is dynamically evolving into a subculture of both activism, and entrepreneurship. In this fight for progress, however, we have to examine the social engineering, profiteering, and xenophobia that impacts our society today.

In this story, 'D' brought up a huge stigma for the African American/Black Communities. This issue, of course, resides with the false mythos that Cannabis creates mindless, jobless, social zombies.  This rhetoric not only is divisive but, is also ignorant.

FACT CHECK:

It is estimated that over 100 million Americans have consumed, vaped, smoked or extracted Cannabis in some form, as of 2015. 

60+ Healthcare professionals have endorsed Cannabis treatments internationally.

23 states have legalized Cannabis in some sort of fashion. Four of those states ( CO, WA, OR, Alaska) are recreational legalized states.

80,000 Deaths a year occur from alcohol-related heath issues.  

600,000 Deaths occur each year from tobacco-related health issues. 

On average Welfare programs such as' TANF,' utilize $1-1.5 million in tax funding to drug test recipients. 

In the first weekend of legalization, OR received over $11 million in sales. While sales continues to grow, tax revenue records have not yet been calculated for the fiscal year.

While WA, Alaska, and CO all have had great success with their programs. On average bringing in a staggering $19-70 million in tax revenue for their respective states.

 

 

While these facts are positive and tell a clear story of the obvious benefits of cannabis on mind, body and society, we have to address the dark state of cannabis. 

 

Source: http://www.drugpolicy.org/drug-war-statistics

"Amount spent annually in the U.S. on the war on drugs: More than $51,000,000,000

Number of people arrested in 2013 in the U.S. on nonviolent drug charges: 1.5 million
Number of people arrested for a marijuana law violation in 2013: 693,482

Number of those charged with marijuana law violations who were arrested for possession only: 609,423 (88 percent)

Number of Americans incarcerated in 2013 in federal, state and local prisons and jails: 2,220,300 or 1 in every 110 adults, the highest incarceration rate in the world
Proportion of people incarcerated for a drug offense in state prison who are black or Latino, although these groups use and sell drugs at similar rates as whites: 57 percent
Number of states that allow the medical use of marijuana: 23 + District of Columbia
Number of states that have approved legally taxing and regulating marijuana4 (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington)

Number of states that have decriminalized marijuana by eliminating criminal penalties for simple possession of small amounts for personal use: 20
Estimated annual revenue that California would raise if it taxed and regulated the sale of marijuana: $1,400,000,000
Number of people killed in Mexico's drug war since 2006: 100,000+

Number of students who have lost federal financial aid eligibility because of a drug conviction: 200,000+
Number of people in the U.S. who died from a drug overdose in 2013: 43,982
Tax revenue that drug legalization would yield annually, if currently-illegal drugs were taxed at rates comparable to those on alcohol and tobacco: $46.7 billion

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that syringe access programs lower HIV incidence among people who inject drugs by: 80 percent

One-third of all AIDS cases in the U.S. have been caused by syringe sharing:354,000 people

U.S. federal government support for syringe access programs: $0.00, thanks to a federal ban reinstated by Congress in 2011 that prohibits any federal assistance for them" 

 

These facts expose the clear truth that there is a social inequality and a clear issue with the U.S. drug policy.

 

So I open the platform to you internet! Please comment, DM, email, call, or message me your #CannabisCulture stories
as we address this social issue and bring the #TalkingPoints back to the people this directly affects!



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Narrative Interview #2