Convicted weed felons are getting a fresh start. As reparations for the war on drugs, a number of felons who were imprisoned for charges pertaining to marijuana will reportedly have the opportunity to open legal weed businesses in the Oakland area, the National Post reports.
The Oakland city council unanimously approved its new initiative, the Equity Permit Program, last month. The new program will reportedly issue 50 percent of all licenses for medical marijuana facilities to previous felons and residents of six neighborhoods that police excessively targeted for drug arrests, the Post reports. “Communities of colour have been negatively and disproportionately impacted by disparate enforcement of cannabis laws,” and ordinance filed by the Oakland city council reads.
Distributing medical marijuana has been legal in the state of California since 1996. weed in 2016. Under the new program, all felons and residents must undergo a rigorous application process, Greg Minor, assistant to Oakland’s city administrator, said.
Although the application process won’t open until later this year, the news is undoubtedly a big win for felons who spent several years behind bars. In the past, both Pusha T and John Legend have pushed for the release of felons who were locked up for simple possession or selling charges. “What’s important to me is keeping people who are coming home, home,” Pusha T said in previous PSA regarding California’s marijuana bill. “If ending prohibition on marijuana reduces recidivism, then let’s do it.”