Cannabis Money Reparations Wisely Invested in California
California has begun groundbreaking work in distributing millions of tax dollars into communities that have been hurt by the war on drugs. With many communities of color disproportionately targeted by discriminatory drug laws, California is trying to level the playing field and to set things right.
The crux of these reparations has been set three years ago. Namely, Proposition 64, also known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, was a vital victory for the legalization of cannabis. Besides legalization, this act deals with the expungement of marijuana-related crimes, as well as the redirection of tax revenue towards social justice programs.
Namely, one billion dollars will be invested in programs that help law enforcement, environmental cleanup, as well as assisting at-risk youth. This money will also be directed towards drug-use treatment and prevention programs.
However, it needs to be mentioned that this money is not being sent out at its first expected pace. Delays, slow bureaucracy are all challenges that these so-called reparatory acts are supposed to face. The fact that the governor had to veto a bill due to “the conflict between state and federal laws,” while also admitting that this leads to patients being in an unfair position, speaks volumes.
Still, certain organizations and branches of government are doing their part, and are true to their word. Just recently, $28.5 million dollars have been awarded to 69 Californian organizations that assist communities and individuals most affected by the war on cannabis. The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development awarded this money, with the Governor calling this investment a “moral responsibility”.
Next, ten Californian cities that are open to the industry and that have proper programs set up have received $10 million dollars. This money was sent by the Bureau of Cannabis Control, its source being pure marijuana tax revenue.
Sacramento, San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland are just some of the cities that will receive funds. This same program is part of legislation that waves city fees and offers general support for people who want to get marijuana permits. The individuals eligible for these benefits are people from poor communities, as well as individuals who have been previously incarcerated due to cannabis-related infractions and violations.
These programs and funds should repair some of the damage the War on Drugs wrought upon various urban communities, and to help their local economies prosper and advance.