As the regulated marijuana industry prepares to flourish in Massachusetts, on April 12, 2018, Major Bloom received an Economic Empowerment certificate from the state. Economic Empowerment is the Commonwealth’s solution to healing the economic ailments caused by the war on drugs.
In 1971 the United States President, Ronald Reagan, introduced the ridiculous War on Drugs campaign across America. Today, some war on drugs stigmas still exist while also even extending its reach. Since the inception of the campaign, impoverished minority areas have been targeted for criminal drug arrests and incarcerations, putting millions of people of color under correctional control. We see correlating trends with drug overdoses and deaths related. Drug overdoses are not an issue in impoverished minority areas. Historically, the war on drugs has negatively impacted millions of Black and Hispanic males, while today’s war on drug extends to thousands of White males.
So how did Major Bloom get here and what impact will we have with the war on drugs? Major Bloom exists through life-experiences, culture, and education, relating to marijuana. Laury and I (founders operating the business) obtained the Economic Empowerment certificate, giving us priority licensing because we demonstrated a history of community involvement, business experience, and methods of positively changing the effects of the drug campaign. Company Culture is the most strong action necessary for successfully serving the community.
After a series of injuries, parties, and weed smoke, I retired from organized, competitive sports and got kicked out of my first college, winter 2007. Months before getting banned from campus, the school forbade me from my freshman dorm for a strange burnt popcorn smell.
Of course, the Resident Security Officer did not find popcorn when he searched my room, he also didn’t come across marijuana. There was a snowfall a day or two before, and it was too cold to go for an L ride or walk, so we vaped in my room. When I was arrested, the officer started his search, found nothing, but me and my friends still got the boot.
The good times only continued once kicked off campus. The times were too good, and after football season, I finally got expelled from school and enrolled in a local Community College. Within one semester of community college, I was arrested again, for throwing another party also-known-as disturbing the peace.
The strange impression of this encounter with authority, this episode was a clear target on my skin color and status. I lived next door to neighboring college students who also contributed to the disturbing the peace call, those students mostly white, and I’m the only one taking out back, out of plain sight of party goers and beaten by police officers for “resisting arrest.” How could I resist arrest when I manned up and acknowledged the fact the there was a party at my apartment?
As you can tell, the thoughts still disturb me. For one, the cops beat me up and screamed “stop resisting” just loud enough to justify (in their mind) treating me like a rag-doll. Next, none of my roommates or friends, mustered enough sobriety or courage to stop the police officers. This run-in is not at all my roommates or college friends doing.
I was grateful the police officers didn’t find the ounces of marijuana in my room, and all my shoes were in place, sitting freshly on top of Nike boxes I had purchased them in. It was refreshing to come back to my apartment, smoke one and take the drive from Worcester, MA back to my parent’s house to break the bad news.
In 2006, my first year of college, if any one would have told me I would be starting a legal marijuana venture, I would have likely laughed and only dreamed.
As a teenager, no one could have possibly informed me of such an endeavor. I thought I had more of a chance of making money rapping after retiring from organized sports. And even ten years later in 2016, after finishing business school, I still had no such plans until the corporate world also reared its ugly head, marginalizing my worth, trying to force me into thinking I’m a crude problem of reality.
If you would have told me the United States was facing an opioid epidemic, I would have referred you to protein powder and free-weights. Both targeted arrest and drug abuse are more similar than most care to imagine. As an Economic Empowerment business, it’s our culture to understand historical trends of drugs and work towards solutions today.