Chicago Suburb Will Use Revenue From Recreational Marijuana For Reparations

Last week, Evanston, Illinois aldermen approved directing all sales tax revenue collected from recreational marijuana purchases to a fund a local reparations program.

Officials say the program will help the city’s black population stay in Evanston while also providing training for jobs and other benefits.

Ald. Robin Rue Simmons proposed the bill, she says “we can implement funding to directly invest in black Evanston.”

Evanston leaders say they see the dispensaries as an opportunity to pay for a local reparations program that would address the lingering institutional effects of slavery and discrimination.

The city estimates the marijuana tax could generate $500,000 to $750,000 per year.

Ald. Simmons says many black residents were victims of the “war on drugs” and spent time in jail for smoking marijuana and thus the tax will “be invested in the community it unfairly policed and damaged.”

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