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Seth Rogen says not enough politicians understand that ‘weed is illegal because of racism’

Oct 14, 2022 | Media Partners, The GrowthOp

This post is presented by our media partner The Growth Op
View the original article here.

‘Go read about Harry Anslinger. Go look up how the war on drugs was specifically using weed to imprison people’

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Comedian and cannabis advocate Seth Rogen said too many politicians don’t understand the racist roots of cannabis prohibition.

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Speaking on the 360 with Speedy Morman podcast, Rogen was asked about the unequal application of cannabis laws and his success selling weed while minorities remain incarcerated for the same thing.

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”It shows the terrible state of the laws and legal system in America. It makes me feel a great responsibility to constantly talk about it and acknowledge it, and we financially support a lot of expungement organizations directly,” Rogen responded, via The Jasmine Brand. “I was literally screaming at Chuck Schumer last week about how they have to do much, much more to progress this agenda and to acknowledge that it’s 100 per cent racist. That’s the only reason weed is illegal, period, because of racism, and what I’ve found, I think even a lot of politicians who consider themselves to be progressive simply don’t understand that fact.”

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Rogen pointed listeners toward Harry Anslinger, who led the charge against outlawing cannabis and was the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. 

“Go read about Harry Anslinger. Go look up how the war on drugs was specifically using weed to imprison people. If you take something that pretty much everyone does and you make it illegal and only arrest one small group of people for doing that thing, it becomes a very effective tool,” Rogen said, adding that politicians don’t understand “that everything that they have digested about weed and all their beliefs about weed are based on the lies of racist men and it simply is how it is.”

“I’ve seen it on their faces when you start to explain it to them,” he added.

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Rogen has long called for the expungement of criminal records for those who have been convicted of cannabis-related offences.

“Expungement is incredibly important to us because it is a step in correcting some of the wrongs and giving back some of the rights that these people, who have been negatively affected by the war on drugs, had taken away from them for no reason,” Rogen said, via Forbes, in 2020 panel discussion titled “Reimagining Justice: Race, Cannabis and Policing.”

“My life has been far less negatively affected from outward cannabis use than many people that I’m friends with who are not white,” Rogen added, noting “a lot of people just don’t want to acknowledge it or think about it. And to us, we cannot operate one day without acknowledging it, because we are benefiting from it.”

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Last week, U.S. President Joe Biden issued blanket pardons “to all current United States citizens and lawful permanent residents who committed the offence of simple possession of marijuana in violation of the Controlled Substances Act.”

Biden has also asked the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to “initiate the administrative process to review expeditiously how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.”

Currently, cannabis is under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, alongside heroin. The classification is meant for the most dangerous substances that have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.”

In July, a group of senators sent the Biden Administration a letter urging it to use its authority to deschedule cannabis and clear the names of all individuals convicted of non-violent cannabis offences.

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“We ask that the Biden Administration act quickly to rectify this decade long injustice harming individuals, especially Black and Brown communities,” the letter stated, adding that the “administration’s failure to coordinate a timely review of its cannabis policy is harming thousands of Americans, slowing research and depriving Americans of their ability to use marijuana for medical or other purposes.”

“Our analysis shows that Black and Indigenous people, and women, are vastly under-represented in leadership positions in the Canadian cannabis industry, when compared to their representation in the general population,” notes the brief. “Conversely, white men are overrepresented.”

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