- Staff Writer at The Root
- Pro to the question "Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal?"
“Marijuana legalization is not just a political or legislative issue; it is also about race. It is intertwined with almost every issue facing African Americans and should be front and center on black America’s agenda…
Police are more likely to use force against African Americans because they are more likely to stop or detain them… Pot is often a contributing factor to police brutality because it gives officers the freedom to detain and arrest, and search people based on nothing but suspicion…
Stop and frisk is a marijuana-arrest tool… An analysis of the New York City Police Department’s 2012 data revealed that cops used stop and frisk to recover 729 guns but stopped 26,000, and arrested 5,000 people for marijuana possession. Blacks and Latinos were more likely to be stopped than whites but less likely to be found with a weapon or drugs.
By 12th grade, both white and black juveniles were found to have used marijuana at the same rate, but underage black children were arrested for it at higher rates than their white counterparts… If black children are arrested more often for marijuana, the long-term effects can be dire. A drug conviction could render a student ineligible for financial aid and could pop up during employee-background checks, eliminating opportunities for employment. The disparity in sentencing affects the families of the people convicted, increases the number of parents taken away from their children, and trickles down into poverty and unemployment rates.
Legalizing pot is not just a hot-button political topic; it is the first step in dismantling the war on drugs that has wreaked havoc on the black community for 80 years.”
“7 Reasons Black America Should Fight Marijuana Prohibition,” theroot.com, Apr. 4, 2017
- Theoretical Expertise Ranking:
Individuals with MDs, PhDs, JDs, or equivalent advanced degrees in fields relevant to marijuana or drug policy. Also top-level government officials (such as foreign leaders, US presidents, Founding Fathers, Supreme Court Justices, members of legislative bodies, cabinet members, military leaders, etc.) with positions relevant to drug, crime, or public health issues.
- Involvement and Affiliations:
- Staff writer, The Root, 2017-present
- Founder and Editor-in-Chief, NegusWhoRead.com
- Contributor, Ebony
- Podcast host, “The Black One,” 2013-present
- Traveling spoken word poet
- MBA, International Business, Florida State University, 1996
- BA, Mass Communication, Auburn University, 1995
- Twitter handle: @michaelharriot
- Came in 17th place at the 2016 Individual World Poetry Slam
- According to his website, has worked as “a corn harvester, chef, radio personality, bartender, journalist, publicist, nightclub-owner, waiter, mortgage broker, project manager, student, fast food sandwich-maker and graphic designer.”
- Quoted in:
- Pro & Con Quotes: Should Recreational Marijuana Be Legal?