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California Uses Marijuana Tax Revenue To Fund Programs To Repair Drug War’s Harms



California announced on Thursday that it is awarding about $29 million in grants funded by marijuana tax revenue to 58 nonprofit organizations, with the intent of righting the wrongs of the war on drugs.

The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) is issuing the funds, which will be provided through the California Community Reinvestment Grants (CalCRG) program.

“These grants serve communities disproportionately affected by the War on Drugs,” the notice states. “Harsh federal and state drug policies enacted during that period led to the mass incarceration of people of color, decreased access to social services, loss of educational attainment due to diminished federal financial aid eligibility, prohibitions on the use of public housing and other public assistance, and the separation of families.”

Grants are being awarded to qualifying nonprofits to support programs aimed at providing job placement, mental health treatment, substance misuse treatment and legal services for disproportionately impacted communities.

“The California Community Reinvestments Grants program is a resource to help communities overcome the presence of systemic restrictions and barriers to opportunity and equity,” Dee Myers, director of GO-Biz, said in a press release. “These grants will help advance health, wellness, and economic justice for populations and communities harmed by the War on Drugs.”

California official announced late last year that grant applications were being made available to promote public health and economic justice for communities disproportionately impacted by the war on drugs.

Illinois is similarly using marijuana tax revenue to fund programs to repair the harms of the war on drugs. The state’s Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) program awarded $31.5 million in cannabis-backed grants in January.

Meanwhile, cannabis tax dollars in Oregon are also helping to increase access to substance misuse treatment and harm reduction programs following voter approval of a broad decriminalization measure.

The Oregon Health Authority received $1.7 million in finding to support the administrative costs of implementing Measure 110. Tribal groups are getting $2.9 million. Addiction recovery and harm reduction programs that are already contracted with the state will receive $6.4 million in grant extensions. And $8.9 million will fund “proposals that most closely aligned with the priorities and values” of the decriminalization campaign.

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Kyle Jaeger is Marijuana Moment's Sacramento-based managing editor. His work has also appeared in High Times, VICE and attn.


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