This month’s issue is one of CULTURE‘s best issues yet. First and foremost, we scored an exclusive interview with the one and only Whoopi Goldberg.
Goldberg gracing the cover of our magazine is iconic for many reasons. Goldberg’s name has been synonymous with cannabis advocacy before it became trendy for celebrities to openly embrace the plant, let alone venture into the world of cannabis entrepreneurship as Goldberg has. Between her countless awards for acting and being the most recognizable actress in modern history to embrace cannabis, there is no person we would rather feature on the cover as we wrap up 2017.
Goldberg isn’t just famous for being a cannabis entrepreneur and esteemed actress. She is an activist who has helped to pave the way for other women and people of color on the silver screen and in business. While she has succeeded and made a name for herself over the course of her career, there is still much progress to be had to ensure justice and equality for people of color. Unfortunately, institutionalized racism continues to target minorities in so many facets of American society, with incarceration for cannabis-related offenses still disproportionately affecting people of color serving as just one example. Recent evidence of this was published last month in a Policy Brief by Partnership for the Public Good, which found that Black, African American and Latinx people made up 80 percent of low-level cannabis possession charges in New York State in 2016, while it was reported these groups only made up 31.1 percent of the state’s population, according to the United States Census Bureau.
These facts are appalling. In the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. in a letter from Birmingham City Jail, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” People in the cannabis industry must remain dedicated to not only ending racism, but also making the changes necessary to ensure those who have been disadvantaged by the “War on Drugs” are given the opportunities they deserve to succeed.
Much like Goldberg said in her interview with CULTURE in regards to the representation of women and people of color in cannabis business and the silver screen, “ . . . lots of things have changed, lots of things have not.” Even though we have moved forward, there are still miles and miles for us to go in terms of progress. Take a moment to recognize the people in the industry who are driving us toward positive change. Support politicians who acknowledge and work to change racial disparity in our nation. Most importantly, let’s continue to support and celebrate the power that we each have at an individual level to demand a more equitable future for each and every human on Earth.
On behalf of CULTURE, we hope you have a beautiful holiday season with your family and friends, and don’t forget to continue fighting the good fight and loving your neighbors.