Pubdate: Thu, 28 Aug 2014
Source: Trentonian, The (NJ)
Column: Passing the Joint
Copyright: 2014 The Trentonian
Author: NJ Weedman
Page: A5
Bookmark: (Racial Issues)


Richard Lee, the California owner of Oaksterdam University, rented a 
conference room at Bally's casino in Atlantic City. It is a business 
that teaches people how to grow marijuana, and other aspects of the 
emerging legal marijuana business. Technically for classroom purposes 
they used basil instead of marijuana.

Ed Forchion, NJ Weedman, outside of the Saturday at Bally's Casino in 
Atlantic City.

As a former marijuana prisoner I had to go check this out for myself. 
So last weekend. I went to Bally's to have a look at who is paying a 
$1000 to learn how to grow weed, when there are numerous $30 books. I 
used Mel Franks Growers Guide deluxe 20 years ago to perfect my 
plants, and more recently used free YouTube videos to perfect 
hydroponic skills. I wasn't paying $1000 so I could only watch at the 
door as approximately 80 people, about 60 males, a few Hispanics, 
three black men, one black women and a couple of Asians came and went.

Now let me be clear here: If I decided to use a garage or a 
storefront in the Wilberforce section of this city teaching the hood 
how to grow marijuana indoors I'd be arrested. Just imagine 
"NJWeedmans grow classes begin today at 4:20 p.m."

I'd be charged with "conspiracy to manufacture" marijuana before the 
first plants were harvested. I was jailed for 5 months in 2002 simply 
for calling for legalization in TV commercials that didn't air.

I'm positive if I or any other black man did this we'd be charged 
under 2C:35-5 as the leader of a narcotics-trafficking network, or 
2C:35-4, maintaining or operating a production facility.

But Richard Lee doesn't have to worry about that - he's white and is 
considered a businessman.

The original marijuana laws in this country were created to punish 
blacks and Mexicans. Our faces were used to demonize the herb. We go 
to prison in record numbers, while whites are becoming rich.

White faces are being used to "angelize" it now, via medical marijuana laws.

Images of sick white children are being pumped onto TV networks in a 
drive to legalize. CNN has become the Cannabis News Network using 
these images. Great, but I say what about us?

Michele Alexander's book "The New Jim Crow" explains it best. "White 
men are poised to run big marijuana business, dreaming of cashing in 
big after 40 years of locking up impoverished black kids for selling 
weed. Their families and futures destroyed. Now white men are 
planning on getting rich doing precisely the same thing".

I went to Los Angeles in 2007 to open my own dispensary, the Liberty 
Bell Temple II, the DEA shut me down and almost all the other 
minority owned shops.

Minorities are being excluded deliberately from this emerging 
business because we are vitally needed as the chattel of another 
billion dollar business; the prison industry. This is one reason why 
Christie doesn't want to legalize, the prison industry needs us.

State legislators and authorities are deliberately restricting 
persons with marijuana convictions from entering this business.

I complained about this before, to the dismissal of my fellow white 
marijuana activists. Decades of disproportionate enforcement of laws 
and the targeting of minorities has led to huge percentages of this 
country's minorities walking around with a digital "F" for felon 
stamped on their records, this is akin to Star of David seminar 
armbands, a scarlet letter for adultery, or the FUG that the Romans 
would brand on the forehead of escaped slaves (short for fugitivus).

We are ineligible for many current jobs and now adding Oaksterdam 
University injury to insult, we are being banned from the new 
marijuana market, from the practices of ownership and investment that 
are the hallmarks of the American Dream.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom