Marianne Williamson, Democratic Candidate for President, toured a Las Vegas, Nevada cannabis grow house, Premium Produce, with the CEO and President Priscilla Vilchis. Vilchis is the first and only Latina who has received a license to grow and distribute marijuana in Nevada.
Williamson used the visit to talk about how legalization could affect the country, according to the Nevada Current:
“Using the backdrop of the marijuana growing facility, Williamson criticized what she believes to be systemic failures to address economic inequality and criminal justice reform across the country. She emphasized the disproportionate number of minorities being held in jail due to marijuana-related convictions, calling for amnesty for all non-violent drug offenders and the immediate federal legalization of cannabis.”
“We all need to be savvy about the various ethnic, cultural, socio-economic issues that are sort of baked into the cake at the beginning,” of an industries growth, Williamson said.
In contrast, Williamson pointed to Premium Produce—which won a marijuana license from the state when Vilchis was just 27 years old—as an example of empowering underrepresented communities who have historically been left out of the prosperity produced by new industries.
“Who is going to be allowed in this industry. Is it or is not going to be a continuation of a corporate dominated system that in fact is known for not letting in as many minority communities,” Williamson said. “Or is it truly going to be a free market enterprise.”
Williamson went on to call the current system of government a “veiled aristocracy” focused on helping corporations hoard profit at the expense of underrepresented minorities and the poor.
“Our government functions at the interest of short-term corporate profits more than as an advocate for we the people,” Williamson said.
After the tour, Williamson promoted a presidential platform built off progressive policies including universal health care, student loan forgiveness, free college tuition, a $15 minimum wage, justice reform, and children’s advocacy—describing herself as a “people first” candidate.
“As president, my concern is always first, people who have been wronged and people who need help. That’s where we go first,” Williamson said.
A major part of Williamson’s platform focuses on children’s advocacy including a pledge to create “a cabinet-level Department of Childhood and Youth,” to focus on “chronic trauma” experienced by American children due to systematic failures. Williamson echoed those sentiments on Tuesday, saying that her “first concern is the suffering of children.”
“I want a massive realignment of investment in the direction of children 10 years old and younger,” Williamson said, advocating for the distribution of tax revenue from cannabis and elsewhere to children’s services.
“We take better care of the marijuana plants in this facility than we take care of thousands and thousands of children in Nevada. And we take better care of the marijuana plants because there is corporate money to be made,” Williamson said.
The Las Vegas Journal and Review reported on Williamson’s visit this way, Democratic hopeful Williamson calls for marijuana legalization
The paper reported, “Democratic presidential hopeful Marianne Williamson called for the immediate federal legalization of cannabis, amnesty for all nonviolent offenders serving prison sentences for marijuana-related crimes and economic equality in the bubbling industry on Tuesday during a tour of a central Las Vegas Valley cannabis cultivation facility.
Priscilla Vilchis, CEO of Premium Produce, gave Williamson a tour of her facility as part of the candidate’s two-day return to Nevada. Williamson will also host a veterans town hall in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
After the tour, Williamson called for the distribution of tax revenue from cannabis and other sources to be immediately filtered into progressive causes: universal health care, student loan forgiveness, free college tuition, a $15 minimum wage and, most importantly, improved K-12 education.”