Illinois is putting its marijuana money where its mouth is, announcing on Tuesday that $31.5 million in restorative justice grants are now available thanks to tax revenue derived from legal cannabis sales.
Under the legalization bill that Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed last year, a Restore, Reinvest, and Renew (R3) program was established. It provides grant opportunities for “communities impacted by economic disinvestment, violence and the severe and multilayered harm caused by the war on drugs.”
Regulators have identified economically distressed areas around the state where businesses and nonprofits are eligible for the funds, and now they are announcing that $31.5 million has been made available for community assessment and planning initiatives as well as service delivery. It’s all made possible by the state’s cannabis law, which stipulates that 25 percent of tax revenue from marijuana sales must go to the R3 program.
“The R3 program is a critical step towards repairing the harms caused by the failed war on drugs and decades of economic disinvestment,” said Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton (D), who was among the first customers to purchase cannabis when shops opened in January, said in a press release. “Equity is one of the administration’s core values, and we are ensuring that state funding reaches organizations doing critical work in neighborhoods most impacted by the war on drugs.”