Pot Legalization Activist Charlo Greene Wants More African Americans To Support The Cause

05/26/2015 06:30 pm ET

Considering the racial bias in arrests for marijuana possession, it stands to reason that black Americans would benefit from the wave of pot legalization moving across the nation. But legalization activist Charlo Greene, who is African American, told HuffPost Live on Tuesday she thinks people of color are vastly underrepresented in the effort to make weed legal.

Greene -- who you may remember from her viral "f*** it, I quit" resignation on live TV last year -- talked with host Ricky Camilleri about why she wants more diversity in her line of work.

Greene explained:

Whenever I go to a cannabis community gathering, I'm usually one of maybe two or three African Americans that are present. I don't know if us as a people are more apprehensive about getting into this knowing we would probably draw greater scrutiny than any other group just because of the history we have with this plant. I really don't know what it is. But I hope to see more people coming out and taking a stand and using something that has been used to hold us back and down for so long [and instead use it] to advance our communities.

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  • It all feels very strange.
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    The photo at the top of this story is a little misleading -- that was during a party on 4/19, when there was a line out the door for $10 grams and gigantic joints whose price tags were cut to $4.20.

    THIS is how many of the state's bud cafes look on the outside. It's a little unnerving when you first arrive. Green Lady Marijuana, for instance, shares its building with a tire shop, and it's all next to a state patrol office.

    It's not seedy inside, by any means, but walking in for the first time makes some new customers feel a little guilty -- like walking into a porn shop on a main street.

    "It was definitely weird the first time, heck, I can't even tell my daughter I was here," said one 53-year-old customer, who only gave her name as Donna. "I feel more at ease than when I used to get marijuana illegally, but there's still that little adrenaline rush when you walk out of a store with a bag of pot cookies and a joint."
  • There's a waiting room.
    Andy Campbell / Huffington Post
    This is where they vet customers. Employee Jasmine Hargrove, 25, told The Huffington Post that it would be a problem to let everyone else in at once.

    "We like to give a more personal experience with your bud-tender -- some people are just now learning what they want," she said. "Plus there is security, because we do deal with a very in-demand product and we deal with a lot of cash."

    You show a security guard your ID -- you have to be 21 to buy weed in Washington state -- and you sit in this waiting room for about 5 minutes.

    That's when you learn that people from all walks are buying sticky icky. Everyone from your high school friends to the suit-and-tie business man is in that waiting room.
  • And then, there's marijuana...
    Andy Campbell / Huffington Post
  • Lots...
    Andy Campbell / Huffington Post
  • And lots...
    Andy Campbell / Huffington Post
  • Of sweet...
    Andy Campbell / Huffington Post
  • Marijuana!
    Andy Campbell / Huffington Post
  • (Pizza not included)
    Andy Campbell / Huffington Post
  • Sativa, or indica?
    Andy Campbell / Huffington Post
  • Or, if you like edibles...
    Andy Campbell / Huffington Post
    There are truffles and cookies, chocolates and popcorn. But no Funyuns, man. Not YET.
  • Andy Campbell / Huffington Post
  • Andy Campbell / Huffington Post
    Andy Campbell / Huffington Post
  • Sorry, we got a little excited.
    Andy Campbell / Huffington Post
    There's a minor catch to the whole ordeal -- the price. You're likely paying a premium at $15-20 a gram, but customers said they'd rather have it readily available and legal than pay a few bucks less.

    Would you go into a legal weed shop in your area?
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