The power of cannabis could actually be the solution for a community of Illinois black residents receiving reparations. New reports claim city officials in Evanston are putting together a plan for racial equity centered on marijuana taxation.

According to reports, a Chicago suburb has voted to tax cannabis purchases to financially take care of race-based reparations.

“Our community was damaged due to the war on drugs and marijuana convictions. This is a chance to correct that,” Robin Rue Simmons, a black alderman who represents the city’s historically black Fifth Ward, told The Washington Post. “Our disadvantage and discrimination has continued beyond outlawing Jim Crow and beyond enslavement.” (Washington Post)

Dating back to the early 2000’s, Evanston has placed an emphasis on reparations.

The city has long been heralded as a local pioneer for equity, and in 2002, its council voted unanimously to support a federal commission to study reparations, which had been introduced in Congress by then-Rep. John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.). Since then, it also created a chief equity officer and a commission on equity and empowerment and passed a resolution committing to end structural racism. As interest spread in race-based reparations, largely ignited by a 2014 essay in the Atlantic from writer Ta-Nehisi Coates, Evanston began exploring the idea on a local level. (Washington Post)

At the start of 2020, Illinois will legally allow recreational cannabis sales.

On January 1, existing medical marijuana cultivators and dispensaries will begin selling to adults until new licenses are approved. Per the law, the state will begin receiving and processing new licenses on March 15, 2020 and new dispensary licenses will be issued starting on May 1, 2020. Another round of licenses will not be issued until after the state completes a disparity and market study of the industry. The second round of licenses must take into account the study’s findings. (ABC 7 Chicago)

This week, Chicago police released a video detailing specifics behind the upcoming legalization.