The Emerald New Deal is an Oakland-based initiative to dedicate the 100% of Oakland’s Cannabis Tax Revenue to the individuals, families, and communities most impacted by the War on Drugs. A new Planning and Oversight Committee of majority formerly incarcerated Oakland residents would be in charge of a report and strategic investment plan to address the impacts of the War on Drugs. This strategic investment plan would detail a program to use the Cannabis Special Tax to rebuild the communities and neighborhoods that were most impacted.
Across Oakland’s flatland neighborhoods the War on Drugs rages on, approaching 50 years since inception this June. This warzone produces exactly what it is designed to: communities punished into suffering and a paramilitary response to health care needs. Unless we resist the racist War on Drugs, communities of color will never recover the independent agency that leads to equity, stability, and The Good Life.
Since the City of Oakland began collecting taxes on cannabis businesses, over $45 million dollars have been generated for the General Purpose Fund, of which nearly 50% goes to the Oakland Police Department. Cannabis tax revenue should go to benefit the communities that were punished for using cannabis. To spend those dollars on further criminalization of working class Black, Brown, and Asian people is rotten and evil.