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L.A. May Use Pot Money to Create Health Fund for Minority Communities

Some revenue from cannabis sales taxes and fees would be used to create a neighborhood health fund with the goal of revitalizing communities damaged by the war on drugs under a plan advanced today by the Los Angeles City Council.

On a 12-0 vote, the council directed the city attorney to draft an election ordinance and resolutions to place a ballot measure before city voters in the Nov. 6 general election entitled the Cannabis Reinvestment Act, which would set aside a certain amount of tax money collected from pot sales for the health fund.

The money collected for the fund would include a 1 percent gross re­ceipts tax on all commercial activity, a $5 surcharge for tickets sold for a temporary cannabis event and a $5 surcharge for any test of cannabis products conducted by a licensed com­mercial cannabis testing laboratory.

The fund would be used to support youth leadership and civic engagement, after-school programs and educational opportunities, as well as improved local health services in minority communities “as they recover from pernicious drug laws,” according to a motion introduced by Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson.

Marijuana has been legal for recreational sales and use in California since Jan. 1, and the Los Angeles City Council drafted a series of rules and regulations last year in preparation for the new industry.

Harris-Dawson, who represents many Latino and African-American neighborhoods in South Los Angeles, outlined his support for the health fund in a letter to the Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee before it considered a vote on the fund in May.

To Read The Rest Of This Article By Staff on LA Watts Times/City News Service

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Published: June 7, 2018

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