Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke unveiled his marijuana legalization plan on Thursday. It includes grants…
- He is calling for amending statutes that prohibit possession of marijuana
- Resolution on legalizing pot helped launch his career from El Paso City Council
- ‘Justice Grants’ would go to those formerly jailed for possession
- They would be funded by tax on marijuana industry
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke unveiled a sweeping marijuana legalization plan Thursday that would provide financial grants to people incarcerated for non-violent crimes and impose taxes on the pot industry.
O’Rourke, who gained notoriety while serving on the El Paso City Council when he pushed a resolution to study legalization, would legalize and tax marijuana and ‘end the war on drugs,’ according to a policy announcement released by his campaign.
‘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.
O’Rourke, who is trailing in the polls and who gained notoriety for his proposed assault weapon buy-back program following the mass shooting in his hometown, would regulate and license the production and distribution of marijuana.
Most of the licenses would go to ‘minority-owned businesses and those disproportionately impacted by the War on Drugs,’ he said.
He says he will provide ‘“Drug War Justice Grants” to people ‘formerly incarcerated for nonviolent marijuana offenses in state and federal prison after their release, completely funded by a federal tax on the marijuana industry.’
The move follows bipartisan efforts to find ways to reduce the prison population by focusing on nonviolent offenders and turning back mandatory minimum sentences.
He doesn’t offer specifics on either the size of the tax, or the size of the grants.
The former congressman says it will apply ‘for a period based on time served’ and that the grants will be ‘funded completely by the tax on the marijuana industry.’
Other funds would target drug treatment programs and programs to help former convicts reenter society at large. READ MORE…