Civil rights activist Al Sharpton may not be in love with Mary Jane, but the good reverend probably wouldn't snitch if others decide to put a spliff in rotation. According to Huffington Post, Sharpton actually thinks that black and brown people should be more involved with cannabis, at least on the business side.
Sharpton is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the fourth annual Cannabis World Congress Business Exposition in New York. "Just because I don’t use marijuana as a Minister, does not mean I have the right to impose my moral values on others," he told HuffPo in a statement. "However, I will challenge the cannabis industry and its distributors in states where it is legal to support civil rights movements and ensure that we are not disproportionately excluded from business opportunities."
At the expo on Friday, Sharpton is expected to speak on the fact that Blacks are around 3.73 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana, despite research showing equal usage when compared to White smokers. He will also touch on ways that people of color can become a part of the fast growing industry and profit from it—since they are a big part of why the industry is thriving in the first place.
Scott Giannotti, Managing Director of CWCB Expo Events, told HuffPo that they are honored to have Rev. Al Sharpton as a speaker. He acknowledged that diversity and decriminalization are "hot buttons" for the cannabis industry and said that Sharpton can "inspire real action forward."
For a look at the full schedule for the expo and more information about speakers and exhibitors, head to the CWCBE website.