Oakland recently started a program that will prioritize people who were convicted of marijuana-related felonies to open weed businesses in the city
SAN FRANCISCO — A Care2 petition is asking San Francisco to follow Oakland in starting an initiative that will prioritize people who were convicted of marijuana-related felonies to open marijuana businesses in the city. The petition has gathered over 16,000 signatures.
Oakland’s Equity Permit Program mandates that half of all licenses for marijuana facilities will be prioritized for people who went to jail for marijuana in the last 10 years, as well as residents of six neighborhoods that police excessively targeted for drug arrests.
“It is admirable that the city of Oakland is making amends for the overly harsh War On Drugs, which disproportionately affected communities of color,” said Julie Mastrine, a San Francisco resident who started the Care2 petition. “People who went to jail for marijuana, a medicinal plant, will never get those years of their lives back.”
Recreational marijuana became legal in California as of January 1.
“The state was responsible for putting people in jail, giving them a felony record that likely impacted their ability to gain employment and find housing — all because of a medicinal plant,” Mastrine said. “Reparations are important in cases of wrongdoing. San Francisco should follow in Oakland’s footsteps.”
She acknowledges that starting a business requires cash, something that may be out of reach for some convicts. To that end, “I’d love to see the city brainstorm multiple ways to provide reparations to those whose lives were unjustly ruined by prohibition,” she said.