Title

How the Cannabis Market (Pre- and Post-Legalization) Informs Racism

Presenter

Chloe Serkissian

Abstract

American society has gone through an evolutionary and revolutionary process in the legalization and cultural conceptions of marijuana. Cannabis has long been illegal and illicit with no grey area. Now, it is a legal substance in some states and will likely become legal in many others. Legalized marijuana has the potential to produce millions in taxes. Yet, a social stigma is still attached to marijuana use. Although African American and white populations are reported to use cannabis at comparable rates, African Americans are penalized 2.5 times more than whites for marijuana possession and use. Research indicates that, with the legalization of cannabis, these false, racially-based notions of crime are being perpetuated by the very market that is trying to legitimize itself.

Faculty Sponsor

Eunice Blavascunas

Sponsor Department/Programs

Anthropology

Tracks

Race and Prejudice

Terms of Use

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Location

Olin 130

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

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Apr 19th, 2:00 PM Apr 19th, 2:15 PM

How the Cannabis Market (Pre- and Post-Legalization) Informs Racism

Olin 130

American society has gone through an evolutionary and revolutionary process in the legalization and cultural conceptions of marijuana. Cannabis has long been illegal and illicit with no grey area. Now, it is a legal substance in some states and will likely become legal in many others. Legalized marijuana has the potential to produce millions in taxes. Yet, a social stigma is still attached to marijuana use. Although African American and white populations are reported to use cannabis at comparable rates, African Americans are penalized 2.5 times more than whites for marijuana possession and use. Research indicates that, with the legalization of cannabis, these false, racially-based notions of crime are being perpetuated by the very market that is trying to legitimize itself.

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