The Dixon, Sterling and Rochelle areas are eligible for social equity grant dollars funded by state taxes on recreational marijuana.
State legislation legalizing recreational marijuana Jan. 1 included creating a program to funnel tax revenue into communities negatively affected by the war on drugs, and Monday the Illinois Criminal Justice Authority announced areas eligible for the Restore, Reinvest and Renew, or R3, program.
Areas were identified by census-level data on gun injury, child poverty, unemployment and state prison commitments and returns.
“The R3 program presents an opportunity to right wrongs caused by decades of poverty and the war on drugs,” Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton said in a news release. “The R3 board is committed to expanding opportunities for communities that have been left behind by economic disinvestment.”
The competitive grants will be made up of 25 percent of tax revenue from marijuana sales, and they will go to community organizations that support economic development, provide violence prevention and reentry services, and offer youth development and civil legal aid to individuals.
The grant process will be worked out in the coming months.
“ICJIA is committed to serving these eligible areas and fulfilling the R3 initiative’s mission of ensuring effective and equitable provision of resources and technical assistance to communities in need,” ICJIA acting Executive Director Jason Stamps said. “We are eager to work with our community partners to address historic inequities while providing much needed support in their efforts to heal and ultimately thrive.”
Go to icjia.illinois.gov for more information or to view the map of eligible areas.