Yesterday an article on High Snobiety entitled “Should Weed Dealers Receive Reparations When Marijuana is Legalized” made the rounds on social media. Like the title suggests, the article asks whether people who have been caught selling cannabis should receive reparations in the form of either having their records expunged, or receiving financial compensation. The answer is: yes, of course they should.
Many people’s lives have been ruined by the War on Drugs. Many communities, especially poor and minority communities have been torn apart. Families have been separated. Many children grew up with a parent in prison. The Drug War was supposed to make us safer. It did not. Instead we got police pulling us over and searching us because they thought they smelled cannabis. We got parents getting their kids taken away by CPS for giving them non psychoactive CBD oil. Students lost their financial aid for getting caught selling a couple bags.
One of the main points that the article brings up is that convicted felons are not allowed to apply for a license to open a dispensary because of their criminal record. It just so happens that many weed dealers are convicted felons. This is why it would be a good idea to expunge their records. Convicted felons have a terribly difficult time finding a job upon being released from prison. Former weed dealers have a valuable skill in an up and coming market. They should be allowed to use that skill. Who knows how to sell weed better than weed dealers? If they were allowed to open their own businesses, that would certainly help keep them from reoffending, right? Reparations in the form of financial compensation could go far in helping former weed dealers start any kind of business, not just a dispensary. Having their charges expunged would allow these people to use their potential in a growing market that they know well. They may even become successful and financially secure. Wouldn’t it be better for the community than having these people be a “drain on society”, as they’re often called.
Oregon just decriminalized drugs like cocaine, meth, and heroin. They didn’t do it because they want people to start using those drugs. Oregon lawmakers passed this bill because they see now that the War on Drugs was a huge mistake and they are trying to rectify the situation. I think their experiment will be a success. I look forward to the day when the rest of the country catches up.
This country destroyed countless people’s lives because of cannabis prohibition and the failed Drug War. The least we could do is help them get back on their feet.
Source: High Snobiety
Image Source: inverse.com
What do you think? Should weed dealers get reparations? Share in the comments!