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The Colors of Cannabis: Reflections on the Racial Justice Implications of California's Proposition 64

14 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2017  

Steven W. Bender

Seattle University School of Law

Date Written: March 8, 2017

Abstract

The follow-up to a recent symposium piece, “The Colors of Cannabis: Race and Marijuana” published in the UC Davis Law Review 2016 print issue, this new piece helped launch the UC Davis Law Review online edition. Reflecting on the implications of the 2016 elections for racial justice in which four more states legalized recreational marijuana, the article focuses on California's Proposition 64 to examine the prospects for racial justice under the new California legalization regime. Particularly, the article situates California within the experience in other states where the fruits of legalization thus far are enjoyed primarily by white entrepreneurs who dominate the industry, while racial minorities remain disproportionately vulnerable to criminal enforcement in the vestiges of enforcement that survive legalization. Adding to the 2016 election update is the wild card of the new Trump regime and the threat it poses to the limited racial justice benefits of marijuana legalization in California and elsewhere.

Keywords: War on Drugs, marijuana, criminal justice, racial justice

Suggested Citation

Bender, Steven W., The Colors of Cannabis: Reflections on the Racial Justice Implications of California's Proposition 64 (March 8, 2017). 50 UC Davis L. Rev. Online 11 (2017); Seattle University School of Law Research Paper No. 17-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2929749

Steven W. Bender (Contact Author)

Seattle University School of Law ( email )

901 12th Avenue, Sullivan Hall
P.O. Box 222000
Seattle, WA n/a 98122-1090
United States

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