The advocacy group Minorities 4 Medical Marijuana (M4MM) is one of many non-profit organizations that is promoting social equity for communities of color in America’s burgeoning legal cannabis industry. Established by Roz McCarthy in 2016, M4MM has 18 chapters in the United States and Jamaica. The hope for M4MM is to move away from cannabis prohibition and the damage caused by the war on drugs and turn it into opportunity for those who were most affected.
M4MM has been instrumental in helping states and municipalities draft and enact policies. Part of M4MM’s overall mission is to help initiate change in businesses and provide programs, advocacy, education, training and outreach to communities. Its primary mission is to support equity, inclusion, and diversity in the cannabis industry.
Jawara McIntosh was living a good life in June 2013. A budding recording artist, father, devout Rastafarian and son of a legend, he was traveling from New Jersey to his home outside of Boston.
With dreadlocks swinging and music mellowing, McIntosh heard sirens. He was pulled over, his car searched. Police officers found a large amount of cannabis in the car and arrested him. He was taken to the Bergen County, New Jersey, Jail in Hackensack.
McIntosh’s arrest reads much like any other scene in which an individual was taken into custody for possession of a substance that in today’s world is becoming legal. The key difference is McIntosh’s family, who hopes his story will shine a light on cannabis-related injustices.