Published February 7, 2023
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“We shouldn’t equate black with illegal and we shouldn’t use the term ‘black market’ as a synonym for illegal market.”
By Cat Packer, Cannabis Regulators of Color Coalition
As someone who identifies as Black and as an advocate for the end of marijuana criminalization and its harms, I’m constantly reminded of the relationship between racism, marijuana prohibition and policing. As such, when I hear the term “black market” used to describe illegal marijuana markets, I take issue with the normalization of black being used as a synonym for illegal.
I first began to understand the relationship between racism and marijuana laws while in law school at The Ohio State University after enrolling in a course on cannabis, law and policy where I explored the origins of prohibition and its enforcement.