A Chicago suburb desires to give reparations to black residents. Its funding supply? A tax on marijuana.

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In Evanston, Ill., city officials are hashing out a program for racial equity — with emphasis on the hash.

As Illinois prepares to legalize recreational marijuana, the Chicago suburb has voted to tax the sale of cannabis — anticipated to create hundreds of thousands of dollars every single year — to fund race-primarily based reparations for its black residents.

“Our neighborhood was broken due to the war on drugs and marijuana convictions. This is a likelihood to appropriate that,” Robin Rue Simmons, a black alderman who represents the city’s historically black Fifth Ward, told The Washington Post. “Our disadvantage and discrimination has continued beyond outlawing Jim Crow and beyond enslavement.”

The program stems from the concept that African Americans must disproportionately advantage from the sale of cannabis, Simmons stated, due to the fact they have been disproportionately impacted by the policing of marijuana — both nationally and locally. In the previous 3 years, almost 3-quarters of these arrested on marijuana possession charges in Evanston had been African American, according to city officials.

But the city’s reparations program will advantage not only victims of the war on drugs. Rather, it focuses on all African American residents, who Simmons stated have suffered from the city’s history of redlining and, additional lately, from the recession and foreclosure crisis. [Read more at The Washington Post]

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