End the duopoly

Social Justice & Beyond: Where’s the opportunity?


Rasheed Samir Gresham, 45, proudly flashed the 4×6 laminated card certifying him as a licensed medical marijuana patient and cultivator in Missouri. He’s also a licensed “caregiver” who can legally provide small amounts of medical marijuana to approved patients. Gresham’s proudest possession, however, was his adhesive business sticker. It features him in caricature dressed in a leprechaun’s outfit standing next to a black pot filled evergreen cannabis. Balloon lettering introduces: “Sheed with the Weed.”

Gresham’s exuberance is understood once I heard his story. Twenty years ago, while living in New Jersey, he was apprehended with six- and one-half ounces of marijuana. Because he wouldn’t cooperate with police and prosecutors, he says, they made an example of him. He was sentenced to 13 years in New Jersey’s state prison. He was released after serving nine years. And he relocated to St. Louis. Rasheed Gresham, photo by author Two decades later and Gresham finds himself in a changed society. The drug that sent him to prison is now legal in the state for medicinal purposes. In 2018, voters overwhelmingly backed Amendment 2 that approved the growing, cultivating, testing, and selling of medical marijuana through dispensaries.

The legal and illegal marijuana business is estimated […]

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