Supporters of a Menomonee Falls CBD store drove in a caravan from Milwaukee to the Capital Tuesday. Supporters did this to raise money for the business while also supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
The event coincided with April 20, which is noted to be due to its date, 4-20.
The event, known as Cruise for Cannabis, was organized by Superstar Buds after their store was raided by Waukesha County Sheriff’s Office on March 30. The raid came after two children experienced a nonfatal overdose after ingesting a CBD product from the store.
The investigation found that the Superstar Buds was selling products with prohibited levels of delta-9 THC, according to a press release by the Sheriff.
At the rally, Superstar Buds owner Chris Syrrakos stated that he believes his store was raided illegally by the sheriff's department.
“We spent over $50,000 on legal fees right now, and they took all our inventory, they seized our cash, they destroyed everything. They trashed the place,” said Syrrakos.
Along with selling cannabis themed shirts at the protest, Superstar Buds also raised money through donations to pay for legal fees. Syrrakos hopes that Superstar Buds will be able to reopen and that the protest will bring attention to Wisconsin’s marijuana laws.
“We want the same thing the governor wants. We want the legalization of marijuana for recreational and medicinal use, and we want to create jobs,” said Syrrakos. “I had a place that went from zero to seven jobs, and now they are trying to take these jobs away from the community.”
An unforeseen time for celebration
Other speakers at the protest advocated for reforms to the criminal justice system, specifically in regards to local policing. Local advocate Sunshine Raynebow voiced her hopes that significant reforms to policing would hold officials more accountable to the communities they serve.
“I’m a Black queer trans woman in America, and I’m tired of the system not benefiting me. I’m tired of this system not benefitting people who look like me, people who are me, and I just want change,” said Raynebow. “I want this world to change, and I’m going to keep fighting until the system benefits us.”
During the protest, it was announced that former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin had been found guilty of murdering George Floyd on three charges, causing the crowd to celebrate. Chauvin was convicted of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Raynebow stated that although she is happy that Chauvin was found guilty, she wants justice for every Black person who has been unlawfully killed by police.
“I’m still in a world where we don’t have justice for every single other Black person who has been killed by the police,” said Raynebow. “I’m still angry.”
Syrrakos stated that he believes the verdict is a positive development that will allow communities to begin to heal after a year of high tensions between civilians and law enforcement.
“It’s good news because if it was not guilty, there would have been unrest, and I don’t want to see unrest. Nobody wants to see unrest,” said Syrrakos.