Reverend Al Sharpton has issued a call to minorities to become more involved in the growing legal marijuana industry. According to the Huffington Post, the famous American minister plans to go over details of how more black Americans can become involved in an upcoming speech that is being held at the Cannabis World Congress Business Exposition (CWCBE).
While speaking to the Huffington Post, Sharpton clarified that he is not a marijuana user himself, citing his work in religion as part of the reason why. But he does not feel that he has the right to impose his own choices onto others, and wants to empower black individuals, businesses and organizations that wish to have a hand in the lucrative but white-dominated legal marijuana trade.
Going on to explain his position, Sharpton added, “However, I will challenge the cannabis industry and its distributors in states where it is legal to support civil rights movements and ensure that we are not disproportionately excluded from business opportunities.”
At the CWCBE, he also intends to highlight the racial disparity of treatment by law enforcement agencies in relation to marijuana. Black people are more likely to be arrested than white people for the illegal use or sale of the plant, even though there is no correlation between race and involvement in marijuana. The managing director for CWCB Expo Events Scott Giannotti considers having such a prominent figure at the Expo to be quite an honor.
“This is a turning point for the industry and we are proud to have Rev. Sharpton inspire real action forward,” Giannotti stated enthusiastically of the minister’s involvement at the CWCBE.
Alfred Charles Sharpton, Jr. is an American civil rights leader, Baptist minister and television/radio show host. He has also served as an adviser to the White House. Sharpton was born in New York, but over the span of his education and career he has amassed a large following of supporters from all over the country. He is one of the loudest voices of past and present to speak of civil rights issues.
Photo by Elvert Barnes