Pubdate: Wed, 10 Aug 2016
Source: East Bay Express (CA)
Copyright: 2016 East Bay Express
Author: Nastia Voynovskaya


The War on Drugs fueled the modern-day prison industrial complex for 
decades, and many politicians now agree that it was a misguided 
federal policy that resulted in the needless incarceration of 
millions of Americans - particularly Black and Latino folks.

 From 1990 to 2010, the amount of people in state prisons for drug 
offenses increased by 52 percent according to the American Civil 
Liberties Union. These arrests for non-violent crimes tore apart 
communities of color nationwide, separating families and saddling the 
loved ones of incarcerated individuals with financial burdens - from 
legal costs to drastic reductions to their household incomes.

Though California has relatively progressive policies in place in 
regards to drug offenses, people of color remain disproportionately 
criminalized. And as California's medical cannabis industry expands, 
state licensing policies that discriminate against folks with felony 
convictions and a white-washed industry culture threaten to prevent 
the very people unfairly targeted by the War on Drugs from profiting 
from medical cannabis now that it's legal in the state.

To combat California's failures in making cannabis policy more 
inclusive, attorney Sunshine Lencho and entrepreneurs Andrea 
Unsworth, Nina Parks, and Amber Senter founded Supernova Women, an 
Oakland organization that lobbies for equitable cannabis policies. 
They have hosted numerous free informational panels to educate 
aspiring cannabis entrepreneurs of color about their rights and 
options. Supernova is also dedicated to keeping the City of Oakland 
accountable in its mission to make the cannabis industry a more level 
playing field.

The four core members of the group are diligent watchdogs that use 
their legal and industry expertise to keep Oaklanders informed about 
policy changes and to advocate for approaches to licensing that would 
benefit low-income and formerly incarcerated folks.

Learn more at
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