By Aubry Stone, special to California Black Media partners
One of the great advantages of Proposition 64 – the 2016 ballot initiative that legalized adult use of cannabis – was the idea that it could start to address the disproportionately negative impact of marijuana arrests among communities of color. This disparity is well documented.
Just a few years ago, the American Civil Liberties Union reported that African Americans were nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites, even though use of the drug was roughly equal among both populations.
Prop 64 not only promised to reduce or expunge certain past convictions, it also presented employment opportunities in the newly legalized cannabis industry as a gateway to the middle class for many underserved communities.
As the head of a statewide organization that supports many minority-owned cannabis businesses, I know firsthand that communities of color are