Minorities in Marijuana Officers wanted to search his home again. All the while, cannabis storefronts flourished elsewhere in a state where medical marijuana was authorized in 1996. Sedgwick, a struggling town on the Colorado prairie, found salvation in legalized pot Now Oakland and other cities and states with legal pot are trying to make up for the toll marijuana enforcement took on minorities by giving them a better shot at joining the growing marijuana industry. African-Americans made up 83 percent of cannabis arrests in Oakland in the year Shavers was arrested. “I was kind of robbed of a lot for five years,” Shavers said. “It’s almost like, what do they call that? Reparations. That’s how I look at it. If this is what they’re offering, I’m going to go ahead and use the services.” The efforts’ supporters say legalization is enriching white people but not brown and black people who have been arrested for cannabis crimes at far greater rates than whites. In this May 2, 2017, photo, Debby Goldsberry, executive director, smells a Crypt hybrid bud at the Magnolia Wellness marijuana dispensary in Oakland, Calif. The City of Oakland is forcing cannabis businesses to pair with minority applicants if they want a license to sell, manufacture, cultivate or distribute weed in 2018 as part of California’s massive expansion of legal cannabis.

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