America must right a wrong

President Nixon initiated the War on Drugs that left millions of broken Black families and countless impoverished Black communities in its wake. Even as marijuana is being legalized and sold around the country and foreign corporations stand ready to overrun small businesses once marijuana is legalized in the United States, this immoral war is still being waged against our community. The damage it has done remains unaddressed and unrepaired. While Black people are only about 14% of the United States population and are known to use drugs at rates similar to other races, they are nearly 40% of the incarcerated in state or federal prison for drug law violations.1 

Justice regarding cannabis must be meted out with the same specificity, intention, and sustained action with which the drug war was waged. Because the harm was targeted, intentional, and sustained, as admitted to by members of the Nixon administration,2 the reparative solution must also be targeted, deliberate, and sustained.

It is fundamentally unjust to build a nation on the enslavement of ADOS people, force them to cultivate cash crops such as cotton, only to compound that injustice by denying their descendants equitable ownership in production, distribution, and sale of America’s new cash crop, which is cannabis.

And while Black American inclusion in regard to cannabis is an issue of reparative justice, the ADOS Advocacy Foundation rejects any language and legislation which frames inclusion in the cannabis industry as reparations or a solution to closing the wealth gap between white and Black Americans.

We require the following: 

  • Because 40% of prisoners convicted of drug crimes are Black,3 the government at all levels must mete out cannabis redress using the framework of “The 40% Rule.”


  • 40% of all licenses for the cultivation, distribution, and sale of cannabis must be set aside for Black Americans, with special consideration given to those incarcerated for drug crimes generally and marijuana specifically. State and local jurisdictions where cannabis is now legal must provide immediate redress in the form of a 40% set-aside for licensing, funding, training, and support of Black licensees that create a pathway to equitable ownership and sustainability in the cannabis industry. State and local jurisdictions where cannabis is not yet legal must institute The 40% Rule before one cannabis license is issued.


  • The government must compel all licensees to adhere to The 40% Rule in hiring and take affirmative action to reach parity in the recruitment, hiring, promotion, and retention of Black Americans, with particular consideration for those who have been disproportionately incarcerated for drug crimes.


  • All foreign cannabis companies must be subject to The 40% Rule in order to sell cannabis in the United States and its territories.


  • There must be a minimum of 60% ownership stake for Black licensees who wish to partner with non-Black investors. Non-Black investors cannot have more than a 40% interest in the company at any point in the life of the company.


  • Marijuana-related taxes, fees, and costs of adherence to regulations should not be passed down to Black consumers through the Black owners. Black communities should not be burdened with the cost of repairing what America has broken with the drug war. As such, we require that a 50-year tax abatement from any marijuana-related taxes be given to all Black-owned cannabis dispensaries. Black licensees should only be subject to regular state and federal income taxes and local sales tax during this period.


  • Transfer or sale of a cannabis license or business is subject to The 40% Rule.


  • President Biden must issue a blanket pardon to all persons incarcerated in federal prisons for marijuana-related crimes as well as those on parole or probation. The President must also expunge their records and fully restore their voting rights. Everyone must come home. In addition, the Biden-Harris administration must direct Offices in charge of social programs to ensure eligibility for programs such as TANF, Section 8, and Medicare to support returning citizens and ensure their reintegration into society and reunification with families. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) must also be increased for these returning citizens to incentivize the private sector to do their part to help returning citizens reenter the workforce.



  1. Drug Policy Alliance. “The Drug War, Mass Incarceration and Race (English/Spanish).” Drug Policy Alliance, January 25, 2018.


  2. LoBianco, Tom. “Report: Aide Says Nixon’s War on Drugs Targeted Blacks, Hippies | CNN Politics.” CNN. Cable News Network, March 24, 2016.


  3. Drug Policy Alliance. “The Drug War, Mass Incarceration and Race (English/Spanish).” Drug Policy Alliance, January 25, 2018.

Learn more about the Black Agenda


Despite being the agricultural experts at the end of Slavery, Black farmers have been historically excluded from agricultural programs.

Black Business

Black America requires investment in business, economic uplift, and employment. Learn more.


For decades, Cannabis was used to incarcerate a disproportionate number of Black Americans.
Repair starts here.

Economics & Labor

Wealth is a major predictor of all outcomes in the US including education and health. Therefore, Black America's decline in wealth must be addressed.


Educational inequalities for Black America must be addressed systematically.

Environmental Racism

Polluted environments harm our communities in America. Learn about our solution to address this issue.

Health & Nutrition

Health is a part of wealth. Our communities have been deprived of access to adequate healthcare for centuries. This inequality must be addressed.


Redlining and subprime lending practices exacerbated the lineage wealth gap. This inequality must be addressed.


Widespread Immigration has been used to suppress Black mobility for decades. We want to provide a more ethical pathway to citizenship.


The government provides grants for road and public transit projects, utilities, and a host of other capital expenditures. Black America must have access.

The Justice System

Black America has faced unequal outcomes from the justice system for centuries. We want to change current outcomes to more equitable ones.

Voting Rights

Our voting rights are a key tool in our right to self-determination. Black America's right to vote must be protected in order to have true democracy.

Without these measures being instituted, ADOS are locked out of the country our ancestors built during chattel slavery. Without reforms through transformative government, we will be left to continue living a third world life in a first world country.

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