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California Philanthropy and the New Reality of Legal Weed

Publication date: 
Friday, November 10, 2017

On November 8, 2016, California voters approved Proposition 64, launching a new era in the consumption, marketing, taxation and regulation of for what decades has been California’s largest cash crop, marijuana. In this paper, I will explore how the policy issues emerging from the legalization of recreational marijuana intersect with racial justice, education, youth wellbeing, the built environment and economic development. In addition, I will offer some recommendations on how California philanthropy can contribute to insuring that this new legal industry does not lead to further criminalization and poor health among our most vulnerable children and families.

This paper is organized into three sections. Section #1 provides context in two areas: the role marijuana policy has played in increasing poverty and racialized inequality and the health effects of marijuana use. Section #2 identifies threats and opportunities related to a range of policy areas and Section #3 offers recommendations for California philanthropy on how to approach this new reality.

Funding Issue Area & Geographic Regions
Special Initiatives