Beto O’Rourke Visits California, Proposes Reparations for Marijuana Offenders

2020 presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke was an early proponent of marijuana legalization. Now he’s proposing reparations for those who've served time because of the prohibition on marijuana.

O’Rourke said Thursday that the government should extend “Drug War justice grants” to those who have been incarcerated for marijuana-related crimes. The grants would be paid by a federal tax on the cannabis industry, with the amount based on time served.

“We need to not only end the prohibition on marijuana, but also repair the damage done to the communities of color disproportionately locked up in our criminal justice system or locked out of opportunity because of the War on Drugs,” O’Rourke said in a statement. “These inequalities have compounded for decades, as predominantly white communities have been given the vast majority of lucrative business opportunities, while communities of color still face over-policing and criminalization. It’s our responsibility to begin to remedy the injustices of the past and help the people and communities most impacted by this misguided war.”

Marijuana reform has been a prominent feature of O’Rourke’s campaign — and, really, his entire career. In 2011, he co-wrote a book called Dealing Death and Drugs: The Big Business of Dope in the U.S. and Mexico.

During his visit to California last week, the former Texas congressman met with legalization advocates in Los Angeles and Oakland.

Read more at Politico

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