Across the country inequities in our justice system further disadvantage low-wage workers, particularly people of color. Even for the most minor infractions, fees, fines and unpaid bail can result in long jail stays without judicial recourse, exacerbated by the loss of income and employment. Reentry into the job market after a jail or prison term is challenging under the best circumstances. EARN partners document how criminal justice dysfunction undermines the prospects of thousands and suggest policies that can open pathway improvements in the economic prospects—and therefore the long-term economic stability—of formerly incarcerated people and their families.
First In Line: Why the District Must Take a Reparative Approach to Recreational Cannabis Policy for Black and Brown Communities
- February 16, 2021
- DC Fiscal Policy Institute
- Doni Crawford
This new Council Period, DC policymakers can continue advancements in racial equity (as envisioned in the Racial Equity Achieves Results Amendment Act of 2020) and help build a just economic recovery with recreational cannabis policy. DC’s Black and brown communities are still enduring the harmful effects of past policies that penalized cannabis, and nationally, about 80 percent of people incarcerated for a federal drug offense are Black or Latino. Legalizing the sale of recreational cannabis in a reparative way would allow these communities to achieve justice and build wealth. While the recreational sale of cannabis is still illegal in DC, the office of the DC Attorney General concluded that The District can proceed with legislative hearings on regulating the sale of recreational cannabis despite ongoing congressional interference. The new Democratic-led Senate could also help usher in legislative changes that affirm DC’s right to self-determination in setting recreational cannabis regulation.