Half of all permits for cannabis businesses are going to those arrested for pot possession or living in communities unfairly targeted by police. But is it government overreach?
Oakland is beginning an experiment that can be considered both laudable and questionable. As cannabis businesses are set to spring up across the city, following California's legalization of recreational cannabis, Oakland is providing reparations to victims of the drug war.
They're not doling out money, though. They'll be doing it through the normally mundane permitting process, in accordance with ordinances passed in March.
"The ordinances require the city to give at least half of all available cannabis permits to individuals who were convicted of a marijuana-related offense in Oakland and earn an income less than 80 percent of the city average. "Equity applicants" can also qualify if they lived in an Oakland neighborhood for 10 of the last 20 years that saw a disproportionately high number of cannabis arrests."