Survivors of the War on Drugs Deserve Reparations Petition

Governor Pritzker, Lt. Governor Stratton and The Illinois General Assembly

On May 31st, 2019, Illinois became the 11th State to legalize cannabis. HB1438, the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act which legalized adult use Cannabis in Illinois was praised to be one of the most "equity-centric policies"in the nation and the first to incorporate reparations for the War on Drugs. Lawmakers described it as the “gold standard” in legalization law and even went on a state to state victory lap. Sadly, there has been no progress in advancing economic equity in the cannabis industry, and reparations for the War on Drugs have been abandoned altogether. The War on Drugs grossly and intentionally targeted communities of color and violated Human Rights through incarceration, job loss, housing displacement, and denied access to education because of its racist policies.

Today, we see ourselves at a crossroads in this country and particularly in Illinois. Legalized marijuana generates billions of tax dollars in this state and across the country. It has become a booming industry. As the billion dollar industry grows in Illinois, communities of color are still dealing with the repercussions of mass incarceration. Black people have been targeted and criminalized for the very ‘crimes’ that make individuals millionaires today. The war on drugs has created irreversible damage to the family unit and economy within the Black community.

By signing this petition you are demanding that Governor Pritzker, Lt. Governor Stratton and The Illinois General Assembly address the failed promises of equity through HB 1438, and that our elected officials recommit to uplift those harmed by the war on drugs by actualizing reparations to survivors.To achieve true and comprehensive reparations 5 pillars of reparations should be met. These include: satisfaction, compensation, restitution, rehabilitation, and guarantees of non repetition. The following are our demands for each pillar;

1. Acknowledgment: Incorporate the WOD in public school curriculum: launch a statewide public campaign to build solutions for the effects of the WOD.

2. Compensation: Provide regular, direct cash payments for Survivors of the War on Drugs. Provide education, housing, and healthcare as compensation.

3. Restitution: Eliminate permanent punishments that restrict system-impacted people to get jobs, education, housing, and assistance. Expunge all cannabis-related offenses, not only “standalone” cases.

4. Rehabilitation: Give free access to medical care and mental health care with trauma-informed, non-punitive practitioners who come from diverse backgrounds. Provide free tuition, vocational training and small business development education.

5. Guarantees of Non-Repetition: Prohibit landlords from evicting or not allowing residency to those with past marijuana-related offenses.

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To: Governor Pritzker, Lt. Governor Stratton and The Illinois General Assembly
From: [Your Name]

The racist policies of war on drugs has caused irreversible damage to communities of color. By all accounts the promises of equity and inclusion within the cannabis industry that were promised in HB 1438 have fallen short. I am writing to you in support of a policy that gives access to statewide reparations to survivors of the War on Drugs based on the United Nations 5 pillars of reparations.