Cannabis has come a long way as more states have legalized it for both medical and recreational use. According to the Leafly Jobs Report, there are 321,000 full-time cannabis employees as of January 2021, and consumers purchased $18.3 billion worth of cannabis products last year alone. However, the effect of the unjust war on drugs lingers, as over 40,000 people are still sitting behind bars for nonviolent cannabis offenses. To help the fight for social justice in cannabis, C Media has officially partnered with the Last Prisoner Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to cannabis criminal justice reform. The Last Prisoner Project was founded out of the belief that if anyone is able to profit and build wealth in the legal cannabis industry, those individuals must also work to release and rebuild the lives of those who have suffered from cannabis criminalization.
There are three main ways this incredible organization helps the social justice movement in cannabis: prisoner release, record clearing, and reentry programs.
Prisoner Release Initiative
Attaining full freedom for every single person put behind bars for unjust cannabis laws is paramount in achieving social justice in cannabis. The Last Prisoner Project provides direct service programs, including clemency and pro bono legal assistance. They work diligently to secure the freedom of constituents arrested for nonviolent cannabis offenses through compassionate release motions or executive clemency.
The Last Prisoner Project’s Cannabis Clemency Program provides a national pro bono effort. Through their program, nonviolent cannabis offenders gain support for securing their release. Additionally, they have a program set on advocating for the release of nonviolent cannabis prisoners through the compassionate release process under the First Step Act. Through the program, constituents that are most at-risk during the pandemic are paired with attorneys that can initiate the compassionate release process on their behalf.
It’s not enough to set nonviolent cannabis offenders free, as they’ll still deal with a criminal record, which is a significant deterrent. We support the Last Prisoner Project in fighting for full freedom, as it’s the only way to achieve social justice in cannabis. By removing cannabis crimes from the records of the constituents, we move one step closer to complete restorative justice.
The Cannabis Clemency Program provides support for nonviolent cannabis prisoners who are released through clearing their records. By having a clean slate, they can start to rebuild their lives free from the looming shadow of a criminal past. Additionally, the Last Prisoner Project advocates for clean slate initiatives in states that legalize cannabis, so cannabis records are expunged automatically. As the cannabis industry grows, so should our distance from the war on drugs and prohibition.
Spending time in prison, especially for acts that are making billions of legal money today, can take a toll on your mental state. Former cannabis prisoners reentering society need all the support they can get, which is why the Last Prisoner Project is also focused on providing proper assistance to reenter society. Some of the things the cannabis restorative justice organization helps to provide are housing, medical needs, transportation, and support in searching for steady jobs.
Taking it a step further, the nonprofit organization also provides scholarship opportunities for those who want to pursue careers in the cannabis industry. Former nonviolent cannabis offenders can get help in entering the cannabis workforce via in-person or virtual classes and training sessions. The Last Prisoner Project partnered with a variety of educational organizations, including Green Flower and Oaksterdam University, to provide scholarships for those formerly incarcerated for cannabis offenses.
The Fight for Social Justice in Cannabis
C Media is a proud partner of the Last Prisoner Project and supports their fight for social justice in cannabis. Although progress has been made when it comes to cannabis criminal justice reform, there’s still plenty of work to be done. We believe the legal cannabis industry can and should help those wrongfully imprisoned for nonviolent cannabis crimes. The Last Prisoner Project has many ways for brands, dispensaries, and individuals to help the fight for restorative justice. Join the fight for social justice in cannabis and head over to the Last Prisoner Project.