The city of Oakland is trudging on chartered territory with its new plan to grant reparations to folks who have been locked up over the past decade for weed. The East Bay Express reports that the City Council ha passed the Equity Permit Program, which will issue legal weed permits to individuals impacted by the “War on Drugs.”
According to the East Bay Express:
Council voted unanimously [May 17, 2017] to pass the historic “Equity Permit Program,” which bucks national trends in legal pot policy. Normally, convicted drug felons are barred from entering the legal cannabis trade. Instead, Oakland will reward them.
The recently incarcerated, as well as residents of a half-dozen police beats in East Oakland, will be uniquely eligible for medical cannabis industry permits under the new Program. The plan will help reward neighborhoods and people hardest hit by the drug war, councilmembers said.
Recent reports show that minorities are both: under-represented among legal canna-business owners; and over-represented in the criminal justice system for pot.
Though the measure went through, there is still some opposition to it. Those against it say that the permits will immobilize Oakland’s medical cannabis farms, stores, labs and other entities. The Oakland Council will tweak the program as needed, going forward.