Snoop and state officials agree on adding a 'minority clause'

Snoop Dogg — one of the most successful people in history at straddling the line between being high out of his mind while also completely accepted by a mainstream audience — is in a great place to make educated commentary on the legalization of marijuana.

On Oct. 26 at the Revolt Summit in Los Angeles, while speaking on a panel about the cannabis industry, Snoop Dogg called for the implementation of a "minority clause" in legislation legalizing cannabis.

"I think there should be some sort of minority clause, the way that they do in sports with the NBA and the NFL, where they make certain rules where the minority has to get the first dibs," Snoop said.

In August, the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board said basically the exact same thing.

As part of a set of proposed changes to the state's regulation of legal marijuana, referred to as "Cannabis 2.0," the Liquor and Cannabis Board proposed implementing what it calls a "social equity" program. The state initially allowed for 500 retail marijuana licenses. It's currently not issuing more, but 11 of those initial 500 licences have been surrendered.

Under the proposed changes, those 11 licences could be reissued to businesses owned by minorities, veterans, women or members of another protected class. It would also bar applicants who are majority owners in another licenced cannabis business from being considered.

Which is exactly what Snoop Dogg called for in the second half of his statement.

"Like, you gotta be somebody of color or somebody from that community to get first in action and then the rest of you [expletive] with money get action," Snoop said. "Because it shouldn't be based on no money."

This issue of equity is important in the world of cannabis legalization because the war on drugs disproportionately impacted minority groups. Now that the war on drugs has shifted away from being a war on weed, those groups that saw a disproportionately negative impact of the previous policy haven't necessarily seen an equitable share of the positive impact of the current policy.

Snoop Dogg and the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board both recognize this issue and both are speaking out on it. Snoop has the larger platform, and a considerably more engaging approach, while the LCB has the ability to enact the change. An old-school gangster rapper and the government might not seem like the most likely collaborators, but here they are publicly calling for the same thing. ♦