Policy Brief: California Seeks to Address Inequities from Cannabis Criminalization Crime & Justice | Tonya D. Lindsey and John Cornelison | May 2021 | Report: Policy Brief: California Seeks to Address Inequities from Cannabis Criminalization At the request of the Office of State Senator Steven Bradford, this policy brief explores how state and local jurisdictions in California have moved to decriminalize cannabis and release people incarcerated for nonviolent cannabis-related crimes. Given equal rates of cannabis use, Blacks and Latinos experience inequities that persist despite changes in state policy that have moved away from criminalizing cannabis. Estimated costs of enforcing California marijuana law prior to 2010 vary from $204 million to $1.87 billion a year. Data from the Legislative Analyst’s Office suggests that California has currently budgeted in the range of $50 million for cannabis enforcement activities, though this estimate is likely conservative. Countering expenditures is the approximately $2 billion in cannabis excise and sales taxes the State collected from 2018-20. California has moved forward with recent law that bolsters access to running legal cannabis businesses for communities and people most impacted by the criminalization of cannabis.