With Legal Weed, South Side Neighborhoods Hurt By War On Drugs Will Get Economic Boost, Officials Say: ‘This Is Reparations’

The bill’s expungement component alone is more equity-focused than any other state effort combined, Cassidy said. She admits that the plan is ambitious — records would be automatically wiped, with those convicted avoiding court appearances and fees — but it’s a necessary part of the plan to make whole the communities that were harmed.

“What we’ve attempted to do is rethink how the entire industry grows. It’s like a three-legged stool: we’ve got the restoration process, we’ve got the reinvestment piece, and then we have the inclusion piece,” she said. “We’ve taken away the prohibition on people with low-level cannabis histories from being employed in the industry, we have created a process whereby folks with those histories and folks who come from communities that were disproportionately impacted will have a significant advantage in the licensing process, and to make sure there’s access to the industry, we’ve created more categories that allow for a lower cost of entry.”

Source: Book Club Chicago

Lea Negron