Selling Pot For Social Justice: Black Woman Makes History With Pot Dispensary (VIDEO)

Selling Pot For Social Justice: Black Woman Makes History With Pot Dispensary (VIDEO)

Wanda James: Trailblazing Entrepreneur

Wanda James and her husband are self described “serial entrepreneurs”, having run everything from restaurants to consulting companies. Now the couple is making history with the first pot dispensary owned and operated by a black woman in the country. 

“The reason why my husband and I are in this industry is to bring light and awareness to the issues surrounding social justice,” James told a documentary crew.  “We have massive issues with the people who are arrested that look like us for simple possession.” 

Black and White Americans use marijuana at about the same rate, yet according to research done by the ACLU, “blacks are 3.73 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession”. This staggering statistic highlights what most pot-heads already know: the system is rigged against minorities. African Americans are not just more likely to be arrested, they face longer and harsher punishments under the law. Even in states where marijuana is legal, very few dispensaries are owned or even operated by African Americans.

Why Weed?

In her own words, James describes what brought her to start using medical marijuana and start her dispensary. Read on:

“I have a very bad hip that requires cortisone shots in the muscle at least once a month to stop the pain and keep the spasms from happening. And when I’m on my legs or I’m standing the entire day, the spasms continually run down my hip and trough out my back. We have found that with the use of cannabis when I go to bed at night, I am able to sleep through the night with out feeling those spasms. …I have been able to reduce the amount of cortisone shots that I have to take. My husband has a herniated disk. And as a chef he is up all day. His pain is so severe, he became a [medical marijuana] patient when he opened up his medicine cabinet on day and he had the pain medication for his back pain, the back pain then caused symptoms of nausea for him so he had medication for that. Which then caused symptoms of sleeplessness, which means he got an Ambien prescription. So it just became prescription after prescription after prescription. And he opened up his cabinet, he says I’m 45 years old, this is ridiculous. So he uses cannabis to relieve his back pain the same way as I do and sleep through the night restfully. What we find from this that they had him on Ambien for a short period. And he found that he was sleep walking all the time. I would find him in various places in the house and different things. He finally asked his doctor about it, and one of the big warnings about Ambien is what you can do in your sleep. There are stories like this that go on and on and on. Were not so trustful of Phizer and these companies anymore. And just because they put a disclaimer at the bottom, they feel like it’s ok to give you things that they know are going to make you do things that are unhealthy for you. When there is a natural way, a natural way to fall asleep, when there is a natural way to stop muscle spasms, when there is a natural way to alleviate sever back pain, when there is a natural way to quell nausea from chemo therapy, there is a natural way to increase your appetite if you are suffering from HIV AIDS or cancer. There is just a natural way to do this. And to me, being able to take something that is God given and grown here on this planet that is not touched by human hands, is the best way to do that. And that’s why this is important to us. We had a dispensary for a very long time, almost a year we had our dispensary. Our patients we are still very close to, they have participated in our focus groups for Simply Pure. We have HIV patients, we have a woman who has bladder cancer and she’ll talk about how this allows her to continue to be a mother to her two small children while she goes trough chemotherapy. To be able to have dinner with you family, to relax with your family, giving people back a quality of life is amazing. With no side effects, unbelievable, unbelievable.”

WATCH: Wanda James’ Makes History As First Black Woman To Own Pot Dispensary

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Cecilia B is an educator and professional bookworm from the suburbs of Houston, Texas with a keen eye for politics, cats and young adult literature.

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Cecilia B is an educator and professional bookworm from the suburbs of Houston, Texas with a keen eye for politics, cats and young adult literature.

ReverbPress Mobile Apps ReverbPress iOS App ReverbPress Android App ReverbPress App