Thursday, September 29, 2022

Illinois City to Use Marijuana Tax to Fund Reparations for Black Residents

recreational marijuana

*With recreational marijuana sales in Illinois set to become legal on Jan. 1., the city of Evanston has voted to use tax from cannabis sales to fund a reparations program for Black residents.

According to NBC Chicago, the program aims to uplift the city’s Black community by fighting the effects of slavery and discrimination while also providing job training and other benefits, according to 5th Ward Ald. Robin Rue Simmons. The program will also address the city’s wealth gap between its Black and white residents.

Via  The Washington Post:

 The council voted 8 to 1 on Nov. 25 to implement a 3% tax on marijuana that will be put toward the reparations plan. A cap of $10 million over the next 10 years was also placed during the vote. 

The tax is expected to generate $500,000 and $750,000 in revenue each year, and they can also receive outside donations. 

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Simmons believes the program will benefit residents affected by the war on drugs. It remains unclear when exactly the tax will start being collected. 

“Our community was damaged due to the war on drugs and marijuana convictions. This is a chance to correct that. Our disadvantage and discrimination has continued beyond outlawing Jim Crow and beyond enslavement,” Simmons told The Washington Post.

She wants all Foundational Black American Evanstonians to benefit from the fund.

“This is in response to the continued impact of Jim Crow. From the war on drugs, to mass incarceration, to the academic gap, the wealth divide, the opportunity gap, the achievement gap, it is all based on race,” Simmons said.

A town hall will take place on Dec. 11 for those hoping to learn more about the program.

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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