Black cannabis entrepreneurs are calling for a repeal of marijuana taxes that dedicate funding to police and law enforcement.
Along with massive demonstrations in almost every American city—and many small towns—the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man suspected of a nonviolent crime, by Minneapolis police on May 25 has triggered calls to re-evaluate how police forces operate and are funded in the United States.
Some of the largest and most confrontational demonstrations have been in Portland, Oregon. There, demonstrators have seen police deploy “less lethal weapons” including tear gas and flash-bang grenades to disperse crowds.
Portland police response has drawn widespread criticism and led to the resignation of that city’s police chief on Monday, as Voice of America reported. And marijuana paid for at least some of the mayhem, an ironic twist that’s gained new attention in context of growing demands to defund the police, which is almost always the biggest expense for city budgets.
If the police won’t be defunded, activists say, at least they can be denied benefits from cannabis sales.
Oregon legalized cannabis in 2014. There, as everywhere else the experiment’s been tried, legalization came with a promise that cannabis sales would raise much needed money for cash-strapped cities and states. [Read more at Forbes]