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Study: 76% Of US Cannabis Consumers Want Criminal Justice Reform

·2 min read

A majority of cannabis consumers support cannabis criminal justice reform.

That's according to exclusive information Oasis Intelligence shared with Benzinga, in which 76% of the 20,000 consumers polled support the removal of felony records for cannabis offenses.

The survey results will be included in Oasis’ soon-to-be-released cannabis consumer survey, which polled across every U.S. state and Washington D.C. between September and December of 2019.

Clear Racial Disparities

Black people are four times more likely to be arrested for cannabis than white people, even though consumption levels are quite similar, according to ACLU data.

In Minnesota and Washington D.C., the disparity between likeliness of being arrested (between black and white people) is as high 7.5 to 8.5 times.

In turn, this has meant that minority groups are disproportionately targeted and more likely to struggle to find employment, or be blocked from federal housing and aid programs. They also face restrictions or outright bans on their right to vote, and confront other systemic barriers because of their cannabis-related arrest records.

"There is no separating cannabis from racial injustice," said Oasis Intelligence co-founder Laura Albers. "From using the label 'marijuana' as a way to demonize the Mexican-American community, to criminalizing the Black community with racist policy that exploited cannabis as a tool for mass incarceration it is tied to cannabis' history."

Related findings in the survey show 74% of consumers assert they support re-investing resources and capital from cannabis sales into communities in need; and 68% expressing support for Social Equity programs that prioritize ownership for those impacted by racist drug enforcement policy. 

"The truth is cannabis consumption is not discerning when it comes to ethnicity," said Albers. "The opportunity of exploring legal and social issues in the Oasis Intelligence study is to shine a light on the socially conscious attitudes and values of cannabis consumers today.

"They support the movement towards a more just society, one that gives back to communities in need, provides greater opportunities to black business owners and makes amends to those who were imprisoned under now defunct cannabis laws in legal states by expunging their criminal records."

Lead image by Ilona Szentivanyi. Copyright: Benzinga.

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