more on: drug policy

L.A. debates cannabis license regulation

Mark Kleiman, a Professor of Public Policy and Director of the Crime Reduction and Justice Initiative at New York University’s Marron Institute, was quoted in an LA Times article by Emily Alpert Reyes titled: "Got a criminal record? L.A. might help you get into the pot biz — or ban you".

Los Angeles could soon help people who were jailed for marijuana crimes get into the newly legalized pot industry, in a push to address the uneven toll of the drug war on disadvantaged communities.

But it would also shut the door to people who have committed many other offenses — including violent crimes or selling other drugs besides marijuana — barring them from getting marijuana licenses for years after their convictions.

The hotly contested regulations, expected to go up for a vote Wednesday, reflect the dilemma over who should profit as an illegal industry gains legitimacy at City Hall: As marijuana becomes a booming business, should the people who were once jailed for it be treated as victims or as scofflaws?

And should the marijuana business be open to other convicts as Los Angeles tries to smooth the way for men and women coming out of prison?

Kleiman weighs in: 

Others say it makes sense to limit who can get into the marijuana business. Pot shops must follow rules restricting what they sell and who they sell it to and “they can certainly make more money by breaking those rules,” said Mark A.R. Kleiman, a public policy professor at New York University’s Marron Institute of Urban Management. “You’re better off if you have a somewhat law-abiding group of sellers.”

To read the full article, click here

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