Illinois Offers $31 million in Cannabis Tax Revenue to fight the Drug war

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The Governor of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker, came forward with one of the most progressive laws for the legalization of marijuana. The state of Illinois announced a new R3 program (Restore, Reinvest, Renew). According to this new law, 25 percent of the cannabis tax revenue must go the R3 program.

Cannabis Tax Revenue Program

This program aims to distribute $31 million in cannabis tax revenue to the communities that have been severely affected by the war on drugs. The state has asked everybody to fill out the forms by Monday, July 20,2020. All the necessary instructions and information regarding the application procedure can be viewed here.

The Restore, Reinvest and Renew program is one of the best steps taken by the government of any state to put into use the money by the legalization of marijuana for a good cause. These examples of social equity are guiding footsteps for all.

Also read: New York passes a bill to legalize Marijuana

Previously, Governor J.B. Pritzker’s policies during the COVID-19 crisis to avoid unemployment have been praised all over the country. The changes in insurance policies to assist the newly unemployed people due to COVID-19 was surely a good step to console the poor. Moreover, these recent steps taken by Pritzker show his political soundness.

Welfare via Tax Revenue

The George Floyd case has stirred up anxiety in the general public. The battle of racism that America thought was won is very deep rooted. The murder of George Floyd shows that eradication of racism is going to take us a lot more time. Protests all over the world are taking place. American policies towards racism and welfare of the public are being largely questioned because of their recent negligent attitude. This step for the betterment of impoverished communities will help America catch the straw.

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Also read: Tear Gas on Protestors is increasing Coronavirus Cases

In the light of news, while this step is a commendable one people are assuming it is just to put on a show. Many critics have commented that this initiative is to divert the attention of people and cool down the situation.

$25k to $850k grants

$25k to $850k grants are being distributed to non-profit organizations, organizations that work for the social service programs, local municipalities that primarily work on the objectives of the Restore, Reinvest and Renew program. Government has asked all the organizations that work for social services and provide financial funding to the needy to apply for the grant.

The objectives of the R3 program revolve around youth development, economic development, civil legal aid, violence prevention and reentry from the criminal justice system. In short, the program aims at spending this money on the social and economic well-being of the people.

The government wants to bridge the social gap between the different strata. Pushing the people in the right direction with a little help can reduce crimes. This program will help people the victims of violence, unemployment and drugs.

Targeted communities

This map highlights all the areas that are a part of the Restore, Reinvest and Renew program. Street-level resolution is provided in this map.

These are tough times. People are looking for the lightest ray of hope, the first drop of rain and the last streak of the pink sky to take them back to the normal times. This law of spending the tax revenue on well-being of communities is a good thing to look forward to!

Mominah Asif: