5 Black Women Fighting To Decriminalize Weed


It’s 4/20! The sound you’re hearing is the collective flick of the lighters your weed smoking compadres just used to light their celebratory joint in honor of the holiday. But aside from being taken to another dimension, 4/20 is a great opportunity for us to reflect on the strides we’ve made in decriminalizing marijuana, how we can continue to support our incarcerated sisters, and the work we still have to do for justice in light of the so-called war on drugs. Here’s a list of just some of the women who are doing the work to destigmatize and decriminalize weed use.

​Jasmine Mans

You may know Jasmine Mans for her poetic takedown of Kanye West or from her recent collection of poems in Black Girl, Call Home. When she is not writing rhymes though, she is over at Buy Weed from Women, the clothing business she started in hopes to, in her own words, support “women entrepreneurs and the legalization of cannabis.” Over at the website, you can cop yourself a jacket, a tote, and more to further Mans’ worthy message.

Wanda James

After meeting her formerly incarcerated brother who was imprisoned for ten years for a 4 oz. bag of weed, Wanda James knew she had to do something. It led to Simply Pure, the first Black woman owned legal dispensary in the United States. Alongside her husband, James strives to give people more than weed products at her dispensary, but a lesson in the disproportionate ways Black people are impacted by drug criminalization.

Toi Hutchinson

Former Illinois state senator Toi Hutchison left her life of politics to become the President and CEO of Marijuana Policy Project. Building on the work she did while in politics, Hutchinson is dedicated to the cause of making sure weed is legal across the country.

Whitney Beatty

With a financial co-sign from Jay-Z , Whitney Beatty opened Josephine & Billie’s, leading her to become the first Black woman in Los Angeles to own a weed speakeasy. Beatty says: “We believe that we can fill a large hole in the retail market by becoming not just a dispensary, but a destination, bolstered by our connection to the community and authentic POC voice.”

Dasheeda Dawson

As the founder of WeedHead and Company and author of How to Succeed in the Cannabis Industry, Dasheeda Dawson has committed herself to educating people about the booming weed industry so the business of professionally selling weed can become more inclusive.