BY CHUCK SCHUMER AND ANTONIO VALDEZ
The War on Drugs has too often inadvertently been a war on people, and overwhelmingly on people of color.
For far too long, Latinos have borne the brunt of this policy without fully reaping the benefits of a fast-growing cannabis industry. That is why it’s imperative for Congress to quickly act to establish a federal standard for cannabis legalization and regulation.
This will help put an end to the unfair treatment of Latinos and other communities of color by removing cannabis from the federal list of controlled substances. And critically, this will allow Latinos to participate in the cannabis economy.
Data shows that Latinos care about cannabis legalization both from a social justice and economic perspective. Although the War on Drugs helped establish long-held taboos around cannabis among Hispanic families, those views appear to be fading as more Latinos are recognizing the enormous economic potential of the cannabis industry in helping build the sort of generational wealth that has long evaded communities of color in this country.
The National Hispanic Cannabis Council knows this all too well. At the core of their mission is the goal to break down cultural barriers and educate people on the health and wellness power of cannabis. By doing this, we can better address the underrepresentation of Latinos in this industry and help provide new job opportunities.