The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol announced today that the Proposal 1 campaign received the endorsement of the National Business League, the country’s largest business organization representing Black-owned businesses.
“Not only is it clear that marijuana prohibition hasn’t worked, but it especially isn’t working for the African American community because it is being enforced on us unequally which is why it must be changed,” said National Business League CEO Dr. Ken L. Harris. “Passing Proposal 1 will stop the unnecessary arrests that disproportionately targets and impacts young Black men and women, denying them future opportunities.”
A 2016 federal survey found that African American adults are less likely than whites to have ever tried marijuana, yet in Michigan they are three times more likely to be arrested for possession than whites. Having a marijuana arrest on your record can be cause for denial of student loans and disqualify individuals from certain types of employment.
The National Business League also supports Proposal 1 for the job and economic opportunities for Michigan residents.
“Proposal 1 specifically directs the state of Michigan to ensure that the new and legal cannabis industry is inclusive of Blacks and people of color by developing a plan to promote and encourage participation in the industry by people from communities that have been disproportionately impacted by marijuana prohibition,” said Dr. Harris. “This will be a billion dollar industry and Proposal 1 ensures that there will be business opportunities for people of color.”
While some mainstream corporate organizations have raised concerns about Proposal 1, the National Business League is supportive of the protections that it provides. The initiative specifically protects employers’ rights to enforce their current drug-free workplace programs.
“Worker safety is a critical aspect of running a business, so we are thankful that Proposal 1 allows businesses to continue their existing drug-free workplace programs,” said Dr. Harris.
The National Business League is the oldest Black business organization in the country and is the national voice for 2.6 million Black businesses in the United States of America and 106,457 Black businesses in the state of Michigan.