Saturday, October 29, 2016
The title of this post is the title of this provocative article authored by David Schlussel now available via SSRN. Here is the abstract:
This Note suggests that "white individualism" has characterized many campaigns for the legalization of recreational marijuana, including in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. "White individualism" implicitly suggests that white, hard-working, middle-class, marijuana consumers are deserving beneficiaries of legalized marijuana. The white-washed framing of legal marijuana omits and implicitly reinforces marijuana prohibition’s racist legacy.
Marijuana criminalization was originally justified through racist propaganda; the war on drugs has been enacted through coded racial appeals; and marijuana enforcement has disproportionately fallen upon black and brown people. White individualism in marijuana legalization campaigns has tended to correlate with policies that favor white entrepreneurs rather than policies that redress past harms of prohibition, such as the expungement of criminal records.