The Sacramento Bee writes…..
The group Public Health Advocates is citing two new studies, one from the UC Davis Center for Regional Change and the other from Youth Forward, to argue that rather than spend state cannabis revenue on more law enforcement, such funds should go toward community-led public health initiatives and investing in communities of color.
“Unfortunately, three years after (California voters legalized marijuana), elected officials have made decisions that are failing to meet these expectations and to reverse the course of the War on Drugs,” according to one of two reports released by the coalition.
The reports come as state lawmakers are weighing a Bureau of Cannabis Control budget request to fund an 87-member police force that would expand the state’s capability to crack down on California’s billion-dollar unlicensed cannabis industry.
The state wants the cops to investigate unlicensed and criminal cannabis activity and conduct activities that require a peace officer’s authority, according to a budget request document submitted by the bureau.
But advocates citing the two new research papers contend law enforcement agencies have a history of disproportionately targeting communities of color when it comes to marijuana enforcement.