When it Comes to Cannabis, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is an Unlikely Critic

Among L.A. County’s leadership, opposition to marijuana often comes from an unlikely source: a progressive, African American supervisor and longtime champion for issues of equity and criminal justice reform.

For 10 year years, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas has served L.A. County’s Second District, which includes Compton, Inglewood and Watts.

“It's precisely because of the damage he has seen drugs do in the low-income minority communities he represents that he's been so outspoken against legalization, he has said,” writes J. Brian Charles at Governing.

Ridley-Thomas supported the ban on pot dispensaries in unincorporated L.A. and has penned a number of op-eds raising concerns about the blight, crime, and health impacts associated with marijuana.

But the supervisor has also found some common ground with Proposition 64. He supports speeding up the process of past marijuana conviction expungements, allowed for under the measure.

Read more about Mark Ridley-Thomas’ historical opposition to weed and what drives it here.