DC’s Council of DC introduces bill to legalize recreational cannabis

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DC’s Council of DC introduces bill to legalize recreational cannabis

Phil Mendelson D chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia introduced a new bill that would legalize and regulate the sales of recreational cannabis in the city. A new reparations fund would allow for payments of up to $80,000 to those who were previously arrested, convicted or in jail for cannabis-related offenses, writes dcist.

We ve improved the bill, said Mendelson on Tuesday. I think the document should be out there for the public to look at. We want to be ready if and when the ban is lifted. The idea to set up this fund and give payments to those who have been negatively affected by the War on Drugs is an attempt to repair the damages that prohibition laws have caused. The fund will be named 'Reparations for Victims of the War on Cannabis Fund' and will use as much as 40% of all tax revenue from adult-use cannabis sales in the next 10 years. According to the bill B 25 0052 direct cash payments will be based on several factors, such as 1 whether an individual is arrested, convicted or charged for a marijuana-related offense, 2 their age at the time of arrest, conviction or going to jail, 3 the time the individual was behind bars and 4 if they were supporting a partner or a child.

Spouses or children of an individual may be offered payments.

While other states have tried to mitigate the damage caused by outdated cannabis laws, such as giving priority for licenses to minority applicants and communities impacted by the war on drugs, they have not proposed direct cash payments like Mendelson.

Other Highlights Of The Bill

The legislation, co-signed by Kenyan McDuffie, Charles Allen, Anita Bonds, Christina Henderson, Robert C. White, Jr. and Brooke Pinto, is similar to the measure presented about two years ago.

The bill would allow, regulate and tax adult-use cannabis sales at dispensaries. It would establish the Cannabis Advisory Committee, the Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Board, the Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration, the Cannabis Regulation Division, and the Cannabis Advisory Committee. The sales would only be allowed by those with a proper license, and the Board would have the authority to issue licenses for 3 years.

There is a proposal to establish a Cannabis Equity and Opportunity fund that would be in charge of reserving a certain percentage of licenses for social equity applicants. On the social equity side of the bill, the bill will expunge cannabis-related arrests and convictions.

Mendelson said that they were looking at it as a strategy to reverse the inequitable effects of the war on drugs. How can the government, if we can tax and regulate cannabis, do more to help with the income disparities that were exacerbated by the war on drugs? Let's see how it plays out in terms of reaction, suggestions for improvement or criticisms. The bill will need to be put into effect until the ban on cannabis sales in D.C. is lifted.

Since that date, a rider contained in all presidential budget proposals has prevented the District from exercising those laws, despite the fact that adult-use cannabis was legalized in Washington D.C. in 2014.

The omnibus spending bill released in December not only excluded marijuana banking reform, but it also kept the ban on allowing legal recreational cannabis sales.