Jeff Turner

The city of Sacramento, California voted in favor of a cannabis equity program that helps the communities and people most harmed by cannabis prohibition last week, reports CBS. Sacramento is the fourth city in California to establish a cannabis equity program after Oakland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

The cannabis equity program in Sacramento fast-tracks cannabis business entrepreneurs and job seekers who live in particular zip codes with previous nonviolent cannabis offenses on their or their family’s record. The program waives business permit fees — valued at tens of thousands of dollars — and provides mentorship and business support.

“We have a goal of having 50 percent of all licenses be awarded to those who were impacted by the war on drugs. If you were sent to jail or arrested and you were in an area that was disproportionately impacted — you experienced generational poverty.” — Malaki Seku-Amen, president of the California Urban Partnership, via CBS

Programs encouraging social equity in an effort to fight the negative social effects of the war on drugs have begun to crop up across the nation. Massachusetts made a special effort to develop such a program earlier this year. Decades of cannabis and other drug prohibition has disproportionately affected minority communities, enhancing generational cycles of poverty and incarceration that grow exceedingly more difficult to break out of.

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