U.S. Cannabis Demonization Perpetuates Racial Disparities and Social Injustice

Cannabis Legislation Perpetuates Racial Disparities and Social Injustice


The history of cannabis legislation in the United States is a testament to the political weaponization of the Department of Justice, and the intricate interplay between drug policy, racism, and social injustice. From its early demonization to the modern era of social media, cannabis has been closely related to the complexity of racial disparities and social injustices. This essay delves into the historical context of cannabis legislation, examining how it’s demonization affected and marginalized U.S. citizens, particularly American Men of African Descent.

Historical Roots of Discriminatory Policies

The origins of discriminatory cannabis legislation can be traced back to Commissioner Harry Anslinger. A man referred by some historians as the “racist father of drug prohibition”. Anslinger insisted cannabis use be associated with Jazz Music in the United States, soon after, racial biases began to appear shaping public perceptions of the plant and men of African Descent. 

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