Nonprofits gain funding from unusual source: Marijuana salesPosted by On


Nonprofits have an unexpected new source of funding: State marijuana sales.

Over the past two years, California has used some of the fees it collects from the sale of recreational marijuana to give grants to community organizations that serve people and communities harmed by the war on drugs. So far, the state has awarded nearly $100 million, a figure expected to jump to $175 million in May.

Fathers and Families of San Joaquin, a small nonprofit that serves young people and people who have been through the criminal-justice system, received a $1 million grant in 2019. The group trains formerly incarcerated people as substance-abuse counselors. Former inmates conduct workshops and training for young people in correctional facilities. The group also has rapid-response teams for domestic abuse and child abuse.

So many of the problems the organization tackles in and around Stockton, California, can be traced to the war on drugs, says Samuel Nuñez, the group’s executive director. He remembers police officers knocking down his front door when he was a child — something he says was common in his neighborhood — and his mother sitting terrified on the floor.

“They were fiercely policing our communities,” Nuñez says. “They were traumatizing us.”


The Golden State is not alone. Alaska and Illinois have similar programs, and as more…

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Nonprofits have an unexpected new source of funding: State marijuana sales.

Over the past two years, California has used some of the fees it collects from the sale of recreational marijuana to give grants to community organizations that serve people and communities harmed by the war on drugs. So far, the state has awarded nearly $100 million, a figure expected to jump to $175 million in May.

Fathers and Families of San Joaquin, a small nonprofit that serves young people and people who have been through the criminal-justice system, received a $1 million grant in 2019. The group trains formerly incarcerated people as substance-abuse counselors. Former inmates conduct workshops and training for young people in correctional facilities. The group also has rapid-response teams for domestic abuse and child abuse.

So many of the problems the organization tackles in and around Stockton, California, can be traced to the war on drugs, says Samuel Nuñez, the group’s executive director. He remembers police officers knocking down his front door when he was a child — something he says was common in his neighborhood — and his mother sitting terrified on the floor.

“They were fiercely policing our communities,” Nuñez says. “They were traumatizing us.”


The Golden State is not alone. Alaska and Illinois have similar programs, and as more…



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