How the Cannabis Marketing Community can Support Criminal Justice Reform
Mary Bailey speaks about Last Prisoner Project
Currently, over 40,000 people in the United States are incarcerated for cannabis-related offenses. Last Prisoner Project is working to change that.
At CMA’s September 1 webinar, Mary Bailey, the Managing Director of Last Prisoner Project spoke about the organization’s mission and how the cannabis marketing community can help.
What is Last Prisoner Project?
Last Prisoner Project is a coalition of cannabis industry leaders dedicated to bringing restorative justice to the cannabis industry. As more states start to decimalize and legalize cannabis, it is their belief that anyone who is able to profit in the legal cannabis industry should feel a moral imperative to give back towards efforts to release and rebuild lives impaired by formally illegal cannabis practices.
The organization completes this mission through intervention, advocacy, and awareness campaigns. They advocate for new common-sense drug policy and criminal justice reform. They also help people incarcerated for cannabis-related crimes get released. Apart from helping people get out of prison, Last Prisoner Project helps these people after their release— their reentry program provides pathways to employment in the legal cannabis industry, gives educational scholarships, and provides mentorships.
Bailey introduced the audience to several constituents that Last Prisoner Project is currently helping. Included was 68-year-old Michael Thompson, who is the longest-serving non-violent prisoner in Michigan, who is sentenced to 40 to 60 years for three pounds of cannabis. He has served 25 years so far. Recently, he contracted COVID-19 in prison and after a month in the hospital, is recovering.
Another constituent Last Prisoner Project is working with is Fate Winslow. Winslow is 50 years old and has served 12 years of a life sentence. As a homeless man, he was targeted by an undercover cop and arrested for selling $20 of cannabis in Louisiana.
How the cannabis marketing community can help
Bailey explained how others in the cannabis industry (specifically cannabis marketers) can get involved in the movement. Last Prisoner Project is providing leaders and companies in the industry opportunity to get involved through being a brand partner.
There are different levels of brand partnerships Last Prisoner Project provides. All partnerships give the opportunity to create brand awareness campaigns that signal to consumers that you or your company is socially responsible and dedicated to restorative justice. Many dispensaries and cannabis product companies partner with the organization to advocate for new policies and the freedom of incarcerated individuals.
About Cannabis Marketing Association
CMA is a membership-based trade group that provides marketers with a community of fellow marketers and the educational resources needed to propel their cannabis communications careers forward. Learn more about CMA and become a member here.
All webinars are free to CMA members and live in our online Member Portal.