Brooklyn Church Hosts Cannabis Summit for People of Color

State Attorney General Letitia James, one of the most prominent members of the Emmanuel Baptist Church, was one of the opening speakers at the church’s Summit on Black involvement in the growing Cannabis Industry. (Photo by L.T. Greene via Kings County Politics)

On Feb. 23, the Emmanuel Baptist Church in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, “became the first church in the United States to host a summit aimed at educating, empowering and readying the black community to participate in the budding $11 billion cannabis industry, according to organizers,” writes L.T. Greene for Kings County Politics. The daylong event sought to educate attendees on economic opportunities for people of color in the cannabis and hemp industry and how the drug can be used for health purposes.

State Attorney General Letitia James, herself a member of the church, voiced her support of legalizing marijuana for recreational use and for removing from people’s records certain kinds of arrests related to marijuana.

The attorney general demanded any legislation legalizing marijuana should “be done right.” Like many advocates for legalization James highlighted the impact of the war on drugs in the black community including looking to the history of incarceration and the devastation the war on drugs. Each opening speaker referenced this painful part of African-American history in the United States. In spite of the movement toward legalization and refusals to arrest for small quantities of marijuana, black and brown people continue to bear the brunt of police activities.

For more on the event, including statistics on recent cannabis-related arrests and barriers people of color face to get into the marijuana industry, go to Kings County Politics.

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