- Brandon Soderberg
This year on stoner holiday April 20, the American Civil Liberties Union published a massive report titled, “A Tale of Two Countries: Racially Targeted Arrests in the Era of Marijuana Reform.”
The report looked at the ongoing racial disparities among those who are arrested for weed across the United States, even while more states adopt decriminalization policies and in some places, like Colorado, legalization.
Colorado fares pretty well in the report, ranked 49 out of 50 when it comes to racial disparities in weed arrests. But a black person is still 1.5 times more likely to be arrested for weed than a white person; on average across the nation, a black person is 3.6 times more likely to get jammed up for pot than a white person. In El Paso County specifically, the number is still below the national average but jumps up to 2.4 times.
That anyone anywhere is being busted for weed is outrageous, especially in a state where it is “legal.” The point is obvious. The racist war on drugs will be waged well into legalization. And when you’re white, laws are not so much laws as recommendations that cops can reconsider or just not even worry about at all.
It can seem silly to talk about weed when there are bigger issues — such as a nationwide uprising against police violence following the police killing of George Floyd — but weed is a tiny and important window into how racism manifests in law enforcement.
Weed is also often a respite from the chaos of a protest — or in direct action, those moments of creepy calm before the police storm — and during marches which always have a certain party-like atmosphere, it brings people together. You see someone sparking up and you know you got two things in common with them at least: a distaste for injustice and a love of weed.
So here’s a lively strain that might do you well out in the streets.
Chem 91 (Chemdawg and all-time classic Skunk) x Alien Dawg (Alien Technology and um, more Chemdawg) is heady and a little energetic (especially for an Indica) so it has a certain turbo boost quality when it hits, and then after that initial explosion of energy (like a matcha shot), you’ll gaze inward and get analytical — which is good when, as video from all over the country shows, any moment a protest might pop off into something far more scary if the police decide it’s time to get out the tear gas.
Stay safe and vigilant out there and, if you like and can handle it, stay high and alert with some Chem 91 x Alien Dawg.