There are a lot of grass roots activists doing ground work that has been put in toward establishing the cannabis market in Canada and other areas of the world. In places where the plant still isn’t legalized, it has taken continuous acts of civil disobedience from those passionate about the cause, to help spread awareness and push for change in the market, and to continually cater to the need the market has. Now that legalization is on the horizon, many of those less affluent workers and growers who have put in the sweat over the years to carve out a business for themselves, are now worried that wealthy entrepreneurs will disrupt what they worked so hard to achieve.
“The irony for me is that we’re going to keep out everybody who has been convicted of transporting or selling narcotics from the business of transporting and selling narcotics,” says Joshua Weitz, a 33-year-old cannabis activist from California. He himself had dreams to open up and start to run his own cannabis shop, but after being charged with a felony for cannabis possession, he was then forced to give up on that goal for his life. His record now made it so that he couldn’t continue with his work and the plan for his life. And there are many more like him with similar stories.
But thanks to escalating concern and pressure from the cannabis community, there is now a growing movement in California to see barriers be eliminated for the industry; when it comes to allowing those to get involved who might have a criminal record for a cannabis-related offense. Some officials in California are now even also looking to use ads that will specifically recruit former drug dealers for positions of opening new cannabis businesses.