Legislation Introduced That Would Allocate Cannabis Tax Revenue Toward Programming for Residents Harmed by Cannabis Prohibition


At today’s council meeting, Montgomery County Councilmembers Kristin Mink, Will Jawando and Laurie-Anne Sayles introduced Bill 4-24, the Community Reinvestment and Repair Fund Commission – Established.

Per the news release: The bill creates a 13-member commission drawn from impacted communities and service providers to advise on the allocation of revenue from the State of Maryland’s fund of the same name as established by House Bill 837 in 2022.

Under state law, 35 percent of cannabis excise tax revenues are reserved solely for the purpose of localities to invest in new programming targeted at making reparations to communities disproportionately impacted by prohibition prior to the legalization of cannabis for adult use in 2023. The legislation is cosponsored by Council President Andrew Friedson, Vice President Kate Stewart, and Councilmembers Sidney Katz, Natali Fani-Gonzalez, Gabe Albornoz and Evan Glass.

“When we scratch below the surface of the so-called ‘war on drugs,’ we find it was primarily a war on drug users, their families and their communities,” said Councilmember Mink (District 5). “As policymakers, one of the most difficult tasks for us can be recognizing the harm of past policies, acknowledging that harm and repairing the harm among those impacted by our decisions. This legislation is an opportunity to do that.”

“I thank Comptroller Brooke Lierman and our state partners for their dedication to investing cannabis revenue in our local economy,” Councilmember Sayles said. “The creation of this commission is a significant move toward aiding low-income communities and areas that are disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. These resources will assist in reducing recidivism rates and providing opportunities for people to build a better future.”

“I am pleased to be a co-lead sponsor of this important bill with Councilmembers Mink and Sayles, and I appreciate the support from other Councilmembers,” said Councilmember Jawando. “For families who have been impacted by the disproportionate enforcement of failed drug policies, there is much reinvestment and repair work that is needed. This legislation will help move our County forward toward that repair.”

“The purpose of this bill is to invest directly into the communities that have been most impacted by the war on drugs,” said Zakiya Sankara-Jabar, co-executive director of Racial Justice NOW. “This is a beginning step for Montgomery County to pursue a broader reparation policy.”

The fund is expected to receive approximately $1 million in its first year, based on data from the third quarter of fiscal year 2024, which is the first quarter of recreational adult sales of cannabis. Bill 4-24 adopts a similar community-based advisory body model as Baltimore City and Prince George’s County. A public hearing for Bill 4-24 is scheduled for March 5 at 1:30 p.m.

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

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LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES

KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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