Damian Marley in partnership with Ocean Grown Extracts is converting a former California state prison into a marijuana farm. It is another day, another Marley marijuana business that has nothing to do with Jamaica and nothing to benefit Blacks who have suffered so much because of marijuana.
In his new venture, the 38-year-old Marley says nothing of his company providing jobs for Blacks but he does see some poetic justice in the fact that the marijuana farm will be where a prison that confined Blacks and other minorities was. Even more ironic is the fact he will be making his money from the same plant that many of the minorities that were locked up in that very prison for.
“Many people sacrificed so much for the herb over the years who got locked up. If this helps people and it’s used for medicinal purposes and inspires people, it’s a success.” says Marley.
By now Black people should be tired of the sweet talk from the pulpits and from hypocrites, however. What they should demand to hear are how many Black people Damian’s new venture will be employing. What about felons, whose only crime was marijuana possession, will they be given an opportunity to earn a living to support their family even after they check yes on the “have you ever committed a crime” box?
Marley and his company are toting their purchase of the Claremont Custody Center in Coalinga, CA for $4.1 million as huge success because it relieves the county of its $3.4 million debt. What they don’t say, however, is that the Blacks make up less than 3% of Coalinga’s total population. So again, the people who suffered the most because of marijuana will not be benefitting from marijuana, at least not in Damian Marley’s company.
The new business began “in a very organic way,” says Dan Dalton, Marley’s longtime manager. “Cannabis is something that’s around Damian every day with friends, family and with his Rastafarian faith. We’ve watched people who have sacrificed their lives for it. That injustice has motivated us to be advocates as well as knowing that there are healing properties in cannabis.”
Sadly enough, the people who actually sacrificed their lives for it are not making any financial gains off the green gold rush. Since Damian Marley has never had to spend a day of his life in a jail cell for marijuana possession, if his intentions are genuine, he might want to use some of his money to help the marijuana farmers in Jamaica, the ones who actually suffered and sacrificed.
Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with making good business decisions just don’t mix up Babylon business with the Rasta movement and confuse gullible Black people.