Lawmakers Face Pressure to Decouple Cannabis Tax Revenue, Policing

A public health advocacy group is calling on lawmakers to stop using cannabis tax revenue to expand law enforcement, citing two studies on racial bias in marijuana arrests.

Public Health Advocates cites a study from the UC Davis Center for Regional Change and another from Youth Forward. The UC Davis study found that Black people are four times more likely to face arrest and prosecution for marijuana crimes than white counterparts. The Youth Forward study found that local police have reaped major financial benefits in cities and counties that have legalized marijuana.

“...[T]he law enforcement-centered approach to addressing cannabis has operated as a giant wrecking ball, destabilizing countless families and communities across the state,” the report said

Public Health Advocates’ plea comes as state lawmakers consider a budget request from the Bureau of Cannabis Control that would establish a new 87-member police force for cannabis enforcement.

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