As California’s premier cannabis retail store, being able to serve our community by providing safe access to products for pain relief, relaxation, and recreation is a privilege. We are to do it because of compassionate legislators, as well as tireless fighters like Dennis Peron, the Figi Family, and many more. If not for them, what we do would be worthy of jail—and in many states, that is still the case.
Enter the Last Prisoner Project. Their name is a shortened version of their mission statement: “We will not rest, and we will not stop until the last cannabis prisoner has been set free.”
In California, it’s easy to forget that cannabis is still technically listed as a Schedule I substance by the federal government. For us, cannabis is part of our lifestyle and our landscape. Unfortunately, people across the United States are sitting in prisons for years—sometimes, decades—in a great miscarriage of justice. Because of where we live, cannabis access is convenient and legal. The Last Prisoner Project wants to remind us that, while we have been spared, many others have not.
While their core focus is the release of people incarcerated for cannabis offenses, they take a holistic approach. “Most released prisoners fail without the proper resources in place. Reentry programs reduce recidivism.” Their Prison to Prosperity program provides vocational training, mentorship programs, and scholarships to those affected by the criminalization of cannabis.
Offering alternate options for those who now have criminal records is key, but they don’t stop there. They also fight for the expungement of those charges altogether, which can help move people past the roadblocks that they would otherwise face. “A criminal record can be a significant barrier to employment, housing, financial assistance, and more,” they write. “Given that those acts are now legal”, there is no justice in continuing to let them impact people’s lives and livelihoods.
In the fight for cannabis justice, the Last Prisoner Project is unrelenting. We are proud to support their efforts, and we will continue our work to end the stigmatization of cannabis use and continue to serve the cannabis-loving community.