Gov. Ron DeSantis introduced a plan Thursday for Black farmers in Florida to compete for a medical marijuana license in the state.

But the commissioner of agriculture and gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried believes the new rule discriminates against protected black farmers in Florida.

In 2017, the Florida legislature set up the framework for its medical marijuana industry. The law required that a license be granted to “one applicant that is a recognized class member.” This was due to a decades-old case called the “Pigford” case, which addressed discrimination against black farmers on a federal level.

According to Fried, DeSantis’ new rule only applies to the Pigford Class of Black applicants and will increase the application fee by more than double the cost. Black farmers would have to pay $146,000, compared to $60,000 for applicants their counterparts. Fried believes this is a concerted effort to target black farmers with discriminatory fees and discriminatory licensing requirements.

Twitter quickly called out his hypocrisy stating he never actually addressed Fried’s issues and tried to make the cause political.

“It is completely outrageous that the DeSantis Administration has raised the fees and increased the administrative burden for Black farmers applying for medical marijuana licenses in Florida,” said Fried.

“Black farmers should have the same access to these licenses as the other 22 license holders that Florida has previously approved.”

The application will also evaluate the farmer’s plans for cultivation, processing, dispensing, security, and available funding. Applicants will also have to prove that were recognized member in the original “Pigford” class-action lawsuits.

Florida Health Officer & Surgeon General is Fried’s opposition for the upcoming Governor’s race took to Twitter to try and discredit Fried’s claims of black farmer discrimination in the state. He calls her claims ridiculous but fails to explain why black farmers have to pay more than double just to get their medical marijuana licenses.

Black farmers have historically been shut out of the application processes of medical marijuana licenses.

Now it doesn’t seem much different. Rules changed for black people to give white people a leg up and an advantage; that’s the American way. I’ll never understand why white legislators feel the need to always try to hold black folks back? All we want is a chance to follow our dreams. But when we succeed you feel threatened, why is that?

ALSO SEE:

1. “Assata: An Autobiography” by Assata Shakur

2. “Song of Solomon” by Toni Morrison

3. “Visions for Black Men” by Na’im Akbar

4. “The Coldest Winter Ever” by Sister Souljah

5. “Dreams from My Father” by Barack Obama

6. “Sag Harbor” by Colson Whitehead

8. “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe

9. “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston

10. “When Chickenheads Come Home To Roost” by Joan Morgan

11. “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” as told to Alex Haley

12. “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison

13. “Interiors: A Black Woman’s Healing…in Progress” by Iyanla Vanzant

14. “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison

15. “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker

16. “Blues People” by Amiri Baraka

17. “Our Kind of People” by Lawrence Otis Graham

18. “Picking Cotton” by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino

19. “What is the What” by Dave Eggers

20. “Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center” by bell hooks

21. “Soledad Brother” by George Jackson

22. “Makes Me Wanna Holler: A Young Black Man in America” by Nathan McCall

23. “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz

24. “Good To Great” by Jim Collins

25. “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin

26. “Down These Mean Streets” by Piri Thomas

27. “Flyy Girl” by Omar Tyree

28. “Summer Of My German Soldier” by Bette Greene

29. “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry

30. “A People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn

31. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

32. “Miles: The Autobiography” by Miles Davis

33. “Invisible Life” by E. Lynn Harris

34. “Kaffir Boy” by Mark Mathabane

35. “Kindred” by Octavia Butler

36. “Letter to My Daughter” by Maya Angelou

37. “Manchild in the Promised Land” by Claude Brown

38. “Mis-Education of the Negro” by Carter G. Woodsen

39. “If Beale Street Could Talk” by James Baldwin

40. “Nile Valley Contributions To Civilization” by Tony Browder

41. “I Am Not Sidney Poitier” by Percival Everett

42. “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell

43. “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki

44. “Roots” by Alex Haley

46. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

47. “Who Am I Without Him?” by Sharon Flake

48. “Twelve Years a Slave” by Solomon Northup

49. “Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine” by Bebe Moore Campbell

National Read A Book Day, which falls on Monday, couldn’t come at a better time.

Not only is the start of the school year upon us, what with students loading their backpacks with books and other study materials. But it is also a time when there is no shortage of books addressing certain unavoidable topics like race that fuel conversations in the classroom and at home.

MORE: 5 Books Addressing Race That Every Teen Should Read

And while there are many ways to stay informed in the age of the internet, opening up a book and reading it is a true throwback that provides experiences that aren’t always accessible online.

All of which is why at NewsOne, we believe that the child who reads is the child who leads. In keeping with that idea, we decided to take a look at the state of reading for Black youth.

MORE: 15 Acclaimed And Unapologetically Black Authors

Research has found that the proportion of young people who are daily readers drops has dropped dramatically in recent years. According to some studies, since 1984, the percentage of 13-year-olds who are weekly readers dropped from 70% to 53%. Even worse, the percentage of 17-year-olds who are weekly readers fell from 64% to a startling 40%. And the percentage of 17-year-olds who never or hardly read tripled during the same period, from 9% to 27%. It’s jarring news.

MORE: Read A Book Day: 15 Acclaimed And Unapologetically Black Authors

We tapped our brother and sister sites Hello Beautiful and The Urban Daily to get their reading recommendations. Here are dozens of titles they said had an impact on them and that every Black youth should read.

This content was originally published here.

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