Rose City Justice Demands: Allocate ALL of Cannabis Tax Revenue to the Communities it was Promised

Rose City Justice Demands Allocate All Of Cannabis Tax Revenue To The Communities It Was Promised

Portland approved a budget with millions in cuts to police, but short of public demand for $50 million reduction. This is NOT ok. They must meet our demands to Divest, Reinvest, and Protect black and brown communities by defunding the Portland Police Bureau (PPB).

Make sure to call (City Council Clerk 503-823-4085) and email the City Commissioners and tell them it’s not enough. We want them to reduce PPB’s budget by $50 Million and reduce the size of the police force now.

We March Tonight from Revolution Hall at 6pm!

We are doing it, change is happening, but we are asking you to encourage all of your friends to be involved. Please tell everyone you know to join our mobile campaign.

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DRIP | Divest | ReInvest | Protect

text DRIP to 420420

As I mentioned yesterday, a budget is a moral document and we must keep our elected officials honest and accountable, and make sure we divest PPB and reinvest in our communities with tax revenue.  The divestment of cannabis tax dollars from police budgets and reinvestment to marginalized communities is paramount in the push towards a more just America.  Understanding that a budget is a moral document is key to understanding what it means when our city commissioners choose not to meet the demands voiced by the public.  People who are hurt people will only hurt other people. We must work diligently to break the cycle of violence that Black people experience at the hands of the police, only further causing pain and anguish in the Black community.

Rose City Justice will be joined by other organizations and advocates to demand the City of Portland will:

  • Defund the PPB
  • Reinvest in Black Futures
  • Protect Our Communities from Violence

Oregon Cannabis Tax Revenue

Part of Rose City Justice’s long term vision is to take back control of cannabis tax revenue which was intended to support communities that have been the most disproportionately impacted by racist drug laws. We need your help to direct the Oregon legislature to Redirect Cannabis Tax Revenue and Divest everything that receives taxes except 10% that goes to drug rehab services

We want Cannabis Tax Revenue to be set aside for:

  1. Law Enforcement Reform
  2. Education:  specifically distance learning programs that are especially important during this pandemic.
  3. Mental Health Programs for Children and families to be implemented in Schools and the communities harmed by the drug war.

Oregon cannabis was legalized in 2014 and the original draft of the measure aimed to fund education, mental health and addiction services, and law enforcement.  After the Portland City Council met last week, the voted to approve an amendment. 

This is the amendment that passed: 

Motion to reduce $2,291,728 in ongoing Recreational Cannabis Tax resources in the Police Bureau for the Traffic Division, and direct the bureau to support the Traffic Division within its General Fund allocation.

Reduce $2,291,728 in ongoing Recreational Cannabis Tax resources in the Police Bureau. Balance the Police Bureau budget by reducing $2,291,728 in General Fund-backed external materials & services expenses. Allocate $453,000 in Recreational Cannabis Tax resources to Civic Life to support the disbursement of Social Equity Grants and increase ongoing Unrestricted Contingency in the Recreational Cannabis Tax fund by $1,838,728. 

That will bring the total pool of social equity grants from the cannabis program to $1m/year. There are other resources from other parts of the PPB budget that are intended to the black community in general, but the social equity grants are the only funds available to explicitly help black and brown people who were harmed by the war on drugs.

However, as organizations such as the NuLeaf Project have pointed out, it will take a very long time to offer any reparations to minority communities that have been caused by the drug war if only $1M/year is the funding that is available.  This MUST be changed.  In a letter from NuLeaf Project and several others that is directed to the Portland City Council and Mayor Ted Wheeler, they state, “At last week’s City Council meeting, while the divestiture of some police funds was accomplished, the investment into Black and Brown communities was not. We call for a minimum of $15 million in community reinvestment specifically directed to aid communities disproportionately targeted by the City of Portland with cannabis arrests prior to and post- legalization.”

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