The war on drugs has taken a disproportionate toll on people who are poor, black or Latino, community activists have long lamented.
Now that marijuana is on the brink of legalization in California, Los Angeles leaders want to make sure that disadvantaged people can cash in.
L.A. has been crafting regulations to permit a wide range of marijuana businesses as the state prepares to legalize the sale of recreational pot. Under a proposal drafted by outside consultants and released this week, the city would provide extra help to some people seeking to run cannabis businesses, in an attempt to address the uneven effects of the drug war.
“For so long, people that were black, people that were Latino, we have paid the price for this business,” City Council President Herb Wesson, who is African American, said at a recent community forum in Watts. “And as we move this into the legal realm, it is important to us that we have a piece of the action.”
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