*Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story listed the wrong date for the Oakland City Council vote to pass the Equity Permit Program. It was passed May 17, 2016.
Oaklanders who were put behind bars for offenses related to marijuana possession over the last decade will be the first individuals to receive legal weed permits under a new program launched last year by the city. According to East Bay Express, the City Council passed the Equity Permit Program; an initiative designed to offer reparations to those affected by the Drug War.
From East Bay Express:
Council voted unanimously [May 17, 2016] to pass the historic “Equity Permit Program,” which bucks national trends in legal pot policy. Normally, convicted drug felons are barred from entering the legal cannabis trade. Instead, Oakland will reward them.
The recently incarcerated, as well as residents of a half-dozen police beats in East Oakland, will be uniquely eligible for medical cannabis industry permits under the new Program. The plan will help reward neighborhoods and people hardest hit by the drug war, councilmembers said.
Recent reports show that minorities are both: under-represented among legal canna-business owners; and over-represented in the criminal justice system for pot.
Although many have supported the measure, it has received some opposition. According to the outlet, critics say that distributing permits will immobilize Oakland’s growth in the medical marijuana farms, stores, and labs.
Oakland City councilmembers will continue to make adjustments to the Equity Program going forward.
SOURCE: East Bay Express