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Oakland City Council proposes diverting marijuana sales tax revenues

oakland city hall daniel ramirez.jpg
Daniel Ramirez
/
Flickr / Creative Commons
Oakland City Hall

The "Emerald New Deal," if approved, would move seven million dollars in annual cannabis tax revenue towards mental health services, housing support, and community and economic development.

City Council Member Loren Taylor – who was one of the sponsors of the ballot measure – said more than 12-thousand residents were arrested for cannabis drug offenses between 1995 and 2015.

Oakland cannabis attorney James Anthony, however, cited concerns that the city council is shifting responsibilities to voters, as opposed to using council authority to shift the funds themselves.

If passed, a commission would be established to determine who qualifies for the services, which are aimed at helping people who were incarcerated or had family members in jail due to the war on drugs.

The proposal will go before the city council for vote on May 24th.