Please read Bernita Bradley's blog on what she sees when she is driving around and talking to parents across the city of Detroit.
Ride two miles on most of the major avenues in Detroit and they are popping up everywhere. Buildings adorned in green lights, paint and creative names to describe what they sell. On one street there’s even a drive-through that on any given day has a line longer than Taco Bell’s.
Legalized Marijuana Dispensaries started popping up everywhere in 2014. They paint the buildings green and give them cute names.
I can’t help but wonder, how do state authorities expect for young brown and black children to live above the influence of drugs even as they allow legal dispensaries to pop up on every corner in their community's neighborhoods? Marijuana providers grossly outnumber the libraries, rec centers, boys and girls clubs, functioning play grounds, after school programs and job readiness supports Detroit youth desperately need. Dispensaries sit at almost every bus stop up and down Gratiot Ave. and 8 Mile Rd.
I understand the desire to legalize marijuana and don’t judge those who use it. I am more concerned with how the use of marijuana limits black and brown people from progressing. Jobs, schools and even government programs are drug testing just based on suspicion. Tell me, what’s the use in legalizing it if you are going to drug test everyone who walks in to apply for a job? I'd love to know how many white children get drug tested by potential employers, compared to other races.
Similarly, what about the arrest rates of black vs. whites who are found with marijuana? The numbers will blow your mind and the percentage of repeat offenders reinforces my belief that this is a set up. Can you imagine if they really made it legal, how many African Americans would not be incarcerated?
Stop setting up our children! You’ve already allowed neighborhoods to crumble and abandoned the people who still live there to trying to survive with no resources.
I want our children to see progression, not bondage. I want them to see revitalized playgrounds, urban gardens, an excellent school in every neighborhood, and flashing signs directing them to higher education. I want family fun centers and old-fashioned penny candy stores back. I want our youth to think of inventive ways to make money and not be impressed by the legalized drug dealers that plague our streets with fancy names and lights.
Think about it, why are there so many in our communities? Why is it so easy to open marijuana dispensaries in Detroit and who is holding them accountable? Get out of my neighborhoods dammit. As always, please email us firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what you think. Our blog is designed to tell your stories and share your thoughts.
#420Whatever #Detroit #Voices4Ed