OP-ED: Do the Right Thing for Cannabis Equity


By Green the Church

Booker T. Washington (April 5, 1856-November 14, 1915) founded Tuskegee University in the state of Alabama on July 4, 1881.

In the controversial “Atlanta Compromise” he called for Black progress through education and entrepreneurship. Rather than trying to challenge directly Jim Crow segregation and disenfranchisement of Black voters in the South, Washington mobilized a nationwide coalition of middle-class Blacks, church leaders, white philanthropists and politicians to build the community’s economic strength and pride by a focusing on self-help and schooling.

This policy ran into scrutiny of men like WEB Dubois and the NAACP.

In order to agitate politically, we understand that political power can never be held outside of the constant pursuit of economic viability. We cannot be relegated to mere consumers and workers in this industry.

We must demand that we move from just being members of the work force to captains of industry. When this happens it will enables us to address gentrification and displacement in our community.

The ethical question for the church is: should we focus on politics or business?

The answer is that we must do both.

When it comes to medical marijuana, the church has a negative stigma regarding the effects of cannabis and its recreational use. However, we believe our people still poses the greatness of Dr. Carver and can find and produce this plant-based substance for the good it is our people.

Cannabis will provides our community an unprecedented economic opportunity to survive and thrive in this region, and we must fight for our right to participate in this industry. Nationally, 95 percent of the legal cannabis business is owned by white men.

In Oakland Councilwoman Desley Brooks has written groundbreaking legislation to ensure equity in the issuing of permits to grow and sell Cannabis.

Many in the faith community are sitting on the sidelines and not taking a position on Cannabis.  Green the Church believes that we cannot afford to be silent.

As such, we are recommending that the Black faith community “do the right thing” and support Cannabis Equity.

Tell the Oakland City Council to support the Department of Race and Equity’s staff recommendations to move Oakland forward.


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