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California task force recommends $228 billion in drug war reparations for Black Americans

A California task force is officially recommending that the legislature pass reparations legislation to compensate about two million Black Americans with a total of nearly $228 billion for racially disproportionate harms that resulted from the war on drugs in the state over the course of a half-century.

The nine-member California Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans—which was convened by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) in 2020 and released an interim report last year—voted on Saturday to submit its finalized recommendations to the governor and legislature.

One chapter of the extensive draft final report, which looked at the history of racial discrimination affecting Black Californians from a variety of angles, focused on mass incarceration and the impact of the drug war.

The task force “recommends that compensation for community harms be provided as uniform payments based on an eligible recipient’s duration of residence in California during the defined period of harm (e.g., residence in an over-policed community during the ‘War on Drugs’ from 1971 to 2020),” the report says.

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