Evanston, Illinois plans to pay for reparations to its African American residents through tax revenue from newly legalized marijuana sales, ABC News reports.
Last November, the city adopted a resolution for reparations as part of the city budget. The resolution calls for using $10 million collected in marijuana sales taxes over 10 years to provide African American residents with housing assistance and economic development benefits.
Alderman Robin Rue Simmons said the first proposed “remedy policy” is a $25,000 direct benefit payment to buy a home. Under the proposal, Black residents who lived in Evanston between 1919 and 1969 or their direct descendants would qualify for a check.
Simmons said more than 70% of Evanston’s marijuana-related arrests were among African Americans, even though they make up less than 17% of the population. “If there is going to be some benefit to the community from legalizing marijuana, then it certainly should be targeted to the Black community most damaged by this overpolicing,” she said.