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California Governor Sets Aside $10 Million To Help Victims of the War on Drugs

Entrepreneurs from communities that have been hit the hardest by the War on Drugs can now apply for a host of grants to jumpstart their cannabis businesses.

On Thursday, California Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed a bill that allows local jurisdictions to apply to California's Bureau of Cannabis Control for grants to help people most affected by the drug war break into the state's cannabis industry.

Governor Brown has pledged to set aside $10 million to provide technical assistance and pay for permits or license fees. The new law is being praised by the American Civil Liberties Union of California (ACLU) and the United Food and Commercial Workers Western States Council (UFCW), which noted that the move is a key part of fulfilling the purpose of the cannabis ballot initiative that Californians approved in 2016.

"When voters approved Proposition 64, they wanted the new industry to be open and inclusive, accessible and representative," UFCW Executive Director James Araby said in a statement to the Sacramento Bee.

However, a day later, Brown vetoed another cannabis bill in a move that is not being as widely lauded. On Friday, the California governor chose to oppose a bill that would have allowed parents to provide their children with medical marijuana at school.

"Generally I remain concerned about the exposure of marijuana on youth and am dubious of its use for youth for all ailments," Brown wrote to justify his decision. "This bill goes too far—further than some research has—to allow use of medical marijuana for youth. I think we should pause before going much further down this path."

The fight to provide young students with medical marijuana has been ongoing in a number of states for sometime now as many students with conditions like severe epilepsy cannot attend school unless they can take medical marijuana on the premises. Governor Brown's move may put a stop to this particular bill, but the fight for access to medical marijuana won't end with a simple veto from the Statehouse. 


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