In 2016, Portland voters approved a 3 percent local tax on cannabis sales—money that was promised to fund drug treatment, small businesses, and public safety. Instead, almost all of it is going to the Portland Police Department, a 2019 City Auditor’s report found.
Where the money’s been going since then is an open question, but more annoying than the lack of transparency to Dr. Rachel Knox, a Portland physician and cannabis expert who also chairs the state’s Cannabis Commission, is the idea that police get to benefit from marijuana legalization before people impacted by cannabis prohibition.
In this way, legalization has “been a glorified payoff,” said Knox, who is also a member of the Minority Cannabis Business Association, which this week called for cannabis taxes to be divested completely from the Portland police budget.
Read the full article at Forbes.