‘Woke’ ‘progressive’ LA: Blacks charge city officials with ‘racism’ over lack of ‘diverse’ pot shops

Democratic bureaucracy is often ill-conceived and always inherently unfair

By Jon Dougherty

(TNS) There is no more “progressive” Democratic state than California, and no more “progressive” Democratic cities than Los Angeles and San Francisco, but even in those deep blue enclaves, blacks and Latinos who want to open their own marijuana shops are calling out city officials as ‘racists.’

According to The Guardian, blacks and Latinos who were eager to get into the pot business after the state legalized recreational use have been stymied by city officials who seem more receptive to white business license applicants than those of minorities.



The news site reports that of the dozens and dozens of current applicants, less than one-fifth are black or Hispanic. What’s more, blacks are complaining that after decades of being prosecuted for then-illegal marijuana use, they are now being denied their opportunity to make some money off the legal reversal.

But apparently, the Democrats running things in LA have a different view:

government program set up to provide cannabis licenses to people harmed by the war on drugs has been plagued by delays, scandal and bureaucratic blunders, costing some intended beneficiaries hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.

Black entrepreneurs and activists across LA told the Guardian that the city’s embattled “social equity” program has left aspiring business owners on an indefinite waiting list, causing potentially irreparable damage to their families’ finances and preventing them from opening marijuana shops they have been planning for years.

Fewer than 20 of the 100 businesses on track to receive a license through the program appear to be black-owned, according to estimates from advocates, who say the community most disproportionately targeted by marijuana arrests is again facing discrimination. And even some of those applicants now face precarious futures.

That’s not to say pot isn’t a money-maker in LA; it’s just that there are “many white business owners” who are making bank, the news site reported.

“How do you get to come and make millions of dollars off of our misery?” Lanaisha Edwards, a south LA native who had applied for a cannabis license through the program, told the news site. “The war on drugs destroyed so many families. We should at least get to come out on the other end and create some wealth out of it. But it’s not gonna happen the way this is going.”

Some blacks viewed the government’s program as “reparations,” The Guardian noted:

Formally launched in 2018, LA’s social equity program received national attention and praise from activists as a potential model for the rest of the nation as more states move to legalize cannabis.

The city aimed to right some of the wrongs of criminalization by giving new retail licenses to people from communities historically harmed by marijuana laws, and by eliminating some of the traditional barriers in opening small businesses. Residents would be eligible if they were low-income and had cannabis arrests or convictions on their records, or lived in LA neighborhoods that were disproportionately targeted by the policing of pot.

“This was supposed to be our reparations,” said Rabin Woods, 57, who was arrested in 1983 for a marijuana offense and is now struggling to open a dispensary in LA.

Then came the obligatory Left-wing trashing of police, without any context:

LA law enforcement has a long history of profiling black and Latino residents, with data consistently showing disproportionate impacts in stops and searches, arrests and prison time. Under cannabis criminalization, black Americans were four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana than white people (and in some years, seven times more likely in LA).

After California became the first state to adopt medicinal marijuana in 1996, the loosely regulated medical sector that expanded in LA and other cities largely excluded communities of color.

Out of nearly 200 cannabis retailers previously approved by the city of LA to do medical dispensaries, only six are black-owned, according to Virgil Grant, one of the six owners and a co-founder of the California Minority Alliance, which advocates inclusion. Even fewer are Latino-owned, he said.

The city initially opened up 100 licenses for “eligible social equity candidates” in September; more than 1,800 people applied.

Many complained that the process was hurried and skewed.

“It went from social equity to who has the fastest internet,” said Brandon Brinson, who applied to open a dispensary. “It was like a rat race.”

The Guardian added: Activists estimated that only 18 of the people who made the top 100 list were African American. Some of them are still facing obstacles to launching.

Worse, according to LA’s dispensary rules, all applicants had to already have an available storefront in which to place their business. That led many applicants to quickly scramble to rent expensive storefront property and secure investors. And now, they’re essentially left holding the bag.

While many are beginning to ask how LA officials could have “gotten this so wrong,” it needs to be said that Democratic bureaucracy — often ill-conceived and always inherently unfair — is not safe from allegations of racism.

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.50cal
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.50cal

Yeah, well a chimpanzee has an average I.Q. of 70. I’m sick of stupid. These idiots can’t make anything out of life, except complain, and play the race card!

Show me one black run country that is a successful nation. Even with Affirmative action (reverse discrimination ie., hiring by racial quota) most of these idiots can’t make an honest living.

Take your pot, and shove it! Idiots from Dopafornia!

JOEY55
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JOEY55

the only racists in life are the loosers that use the racism card to blame for their failures in life , or to furhter their agends , like all democrats - the rest of the world get on with our lives and dont make excuses………….. anyway - you had a black president - proving that using racism as an excuse for your failure is just that………….. a loosers excuse

Duke
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Duke

You can never suck and swallow well enough to please the perpetual whining on the left. They are malcontents by definition and big cry babies when they don’t get their way … big adult level babies who cannot grow up … they are evil and lazy. They do what they accuse you of doing. It’s a mental defect that they are born with … it ain’t going away. But it can be beaten to a pulp and made to shut up, but that would mean the right, would need to grow a pair and stop playing by the Marquis of… Read more »

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Wizbang

If census data is remotely correct the black population of the USA is around 15 to 18 percent. In that case, 20 percent minority owned dispensaries are above the population percentage. Sounds like the approving authorities have been generous.

D3F1ANT
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D3F1ANT

America guarantees equal opportunity, not equal outcome. Pay your bills and your credit will be good enough for a business loan. Stay out of prison and so will your reputation/record…sheesh…the scales are ALREADY tipped in favor of minorities so they must be REALLY sub-par not to qualify…

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