Tech & Youth Programs to Receive $1 Million Grant, Partially Funded by Cali’s Cannabis Excise Tax
The operating budget in Nevada City will get a 7% increase from funds collected via Cali’s statewide cannabis excise tax.
The city’s 2019-20 budget outlines $4.8 million collected from taxation and fees. But the city plans to improve its technological infrastructure, law enforcement infrastructure, and youth programming with a $1 million grant through the Board of State and Community Corrections.
Fund distribution will occur in June if the council accepts receipt of the grant.
Doug Fleming, a Nevada City Councilman and grant writer, explained that the community corrections board made the Cannabis Health, Safety, and Compliance Project grant to create a safe, sustainable, and equitable cannabis sector while mitigating some of the possible adverse impacts on the area’s environment and youth.
The grant demands that 10% of the funds go towards youth-focused services, which will primarily work to minimize underage cannabis consumption.
Fleming also said that the grant puts 40% of its funds towards supporting law enforcement’s community policing efforts, updating outdated technology, and educational programming on cannabis. He heard through a school administrator that the only time he sees police on campus is when a student is in trouble, and this is problematic.
“They’d like to see a positive role model of police to help kids that are struggling at home or at school,” Fleming explained. As one of the few African American leaders in Nevada County, he’s also spoken about encouraging school resource officer hires as a “step in the right direction.”
Fleming believes that the officer would work with a community policing philosophy, which will focus on establishing and maintaining positive relationships over punitive ones. This will involve training to encourage the officer to identify self-destructive behaviors and utilize proper intervention techniques.
“Even though I support pro-cannabis policies, I don’t want my kid thinking that it’s OK,” said Fleming, who also has a fifth-grade child of his own. “I let him understand what it does to a growing mind, to a growing body – it’s not something that is harmless.”
Part of the funding will also go towards rehab treatment for cannabis, if needed. But this could also include rehab for serious narcotics. The funding will also support youth referrals to Bright Futures for Youth.
$260,000 of the $1 million will also be allocated towards equipment and fixed assets, including a new phone system, computer operating system, video cameras, laptop computers, and noxious fume detectors for Nevada City police. This tech should allow the city to stay current on permitting requests and ensure compliance.