Activists in Chicago are requesting peddler’s permits for cannabis, which would allow them to sell cannabis products in a similar manner to street food vendors, the Chicago Defender reports. Tio “Mr. Ceasefire” Hardiman, executive director of Violence Interrupters, said the licenses would provide jobs for unemployed people in the inner city and help reduce violence.
“Everyone is promising to direct profits from the sale of marijuana into the communities that have been most impacted by the sale of illegal drugs. Well, these unemployed men and women are saying they can’t wait until that happens. And to be frank, they don’t believe it will happen. History shows those promises are never kept. The licensed cannabis businesses are already making millions of dollars from sales since January 1, and those citizens with the most experience in the industry are still in the streets unemployed.” – Hardiman, to the Defender
Hardiman is also pushing for Gov. J.B. Pritzker to clear the records of individuals with felony drug sale convictions along with the low-level expungements already happening in the state due to the cannabis legalization law. Hardiman argues that with 45 percent of Chicago‘s black male population unemployed, a peddler’s permit for cannabis would be a “win-win for everyone” because the permits would provide job opportunities and mitigate some of the tension surrounding illicit market sales.
“If California, Colorado and Washington D.C. are examples of what can happen, black and brown people in those communities will not get the jobs and surely will not make the profits,” he said in the report. “We need our governor and mayor to support this appeal to make sure this does not happen to the unemployed men and women in Chicago. This is one real solution to interrupt the violence.”
No other recreational cannabis state law or municipal rules allow peddler’s permits.
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