As Marijuana Legalization improvements into the D.C. area, Lawmakers Focus On Racial Equity

When talk of legalizing cannabis at their state degree began about ten years ago, numerous advocates and lawmakers had been centered on the way the programs would work and exactly how revenue that is much bring in. Now, those conversations have shifted: how can the programs and revenue work for Black and communities that are brown have been most impacted by the war on drugs?

That shift is evident in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, where efforts to legalize sales of recreational marijuana are in various states of progress — but all of them are putting an emphasis on racial equity.

In all three jurisdictions, cannabis legalization measures now making their means through the process that is legislative require automatic expungement of records for certain marijuana-related arrests and convictions, set aside growing and sales licenses for communities most impacted by the criminalization of cannabis, and mandate that a certain percentage of revenue from sales be reinvested in those communities.

In a bill introduced by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Friday, residents with a marijuana that is prior would get preference points when applying for a new licenses to sell or grow, and those who have lived in Wards 7 or 8 for the preceding five years would get exclusive right to run marijuana delivery businesses. (The bill develops on a measure that is similar introduced in 2019.) [Read more at DCist]

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