Sacramento to help drug offenders open legal marijuana businesses

Sacramento to help drug offenders open legal marijuana businesses
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The Sacramento City Council approved a program Thursday that would help those arrested on nonviolent marijuana charges open legitimate cannabis businesses, according to a report from The Sacramento Bee.

The Cannabis Opportunity Reinvestment and Equity (CORE) program would allow those most affected by the war on drugs to open a dispensary or other marijuana business without paying thousands of dollars in permit fees. It also provides support to help them get their businesses off the ground.

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“This is just the right thing to do. It’s going to take some work, we’re going to learn as we go, but I hope we can be both the statewide and national model,” Councilman Jay Schenirer said.

Qualifications for the program include having a nonviolent marijuana arrest between 1980 and 2011, having an immediate family member who was arrested or living in ZIP codes that have seen a disproportionate amount of drug-related arrests.

“This CORE program is going to help those who were disproportionately impacted by the ‘War on Drugs,’” Malaki Seku-Amen of the California Urban Partnership told The Sacramento Bee. “It will help us who suffered generational poverty to benefit from the region’s $4 billion industry in cannabis.”

The Drug Policy Alliance, a liberal group that advocates for the reform of drug laws, released statistics in January showing that prisons house a disproportionate amount of black and Hispanic prisoners on drug crimes.