Va. delegate proposes marijuana tax revenue be used for reparations

Members of the House of Delegates expect it to pass.
Members of the House of Delegates expect it to pass.(Pixabay)
Updated: Nov. 23, 2020 at 3:18 PM EST
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MANASSAS, Va. (WWBT) - A Virginia delegate is proposing that all future tax revenue from legal cannabis be used as reparations for Black and Indigenous Virginians.

Delegate Lee Carter, of Virginia’s 50th House District, is also asking for there to be a Governor’s Commission on Reparations to “determine how best to allocate future cannabis tax revenue and to explore more extensive means of reparations in the Commonwealth.”

The Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission released recently released a report and projects that depending on the tax rate and demand, “commercial marijuana could produce $31–$62 million during the first full year of sales” and “[by] the fifth year of sales, commercial marijuana could produce $154–$308 million in tax revenue.”

“Every single penny of tax revenue from legalized cannabis should go to reparations - that’s a moral commitment our history demands of us and a necessary first step in Virginia,” Carter said in a release.

This comes following Gov. Ralph Northam’s push to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Virginia.

It’s a process that could take up to two years before it’s official, but the talks are expected to begin as soon as January when the General Assembly re-convenes.

“The impending legalization of cannabis presents an opportunity for Virginia’s government to begin making amends for its complicity and active participation in some of the most horrific human rights abuses in this nation’s history,” Carter said.

Carter also said there is a need for parallel federal action on reparations with the passing of H.R. 40, which is the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act. This measure was sponsored by the late Congressman John Conyers and now sponsored by Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee. Virginia Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-03), Rep. Don McEachin (VA-04), Rep. Don Beyer (VA-08), Rep. Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), and Rep. Gerry Connolly (VA-11) are currently co-sponsors of the bill.

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