Andrew Ward, a veteran cannabis writer, recently wrote a piece exploring how the cannabis industry can help expunged individuals enter the legal marketplace. Andrew’s article published on both Benzinga and its content partner The Fresh Toast. CannabizTeam’s founder and CEO Liesl Bernard was quoted as an expert on this topic, discussing ways the industry is advancing support for those affected by the drug war and what needs to be done to encourage restorative justice in cannabis.
The article begins by presenting some statistics on cannabis-based incarcerations:
- The U.S. continues to have the largest prison population in the world with more than 2.1 million Americans incarcerated.
- In 2018, state-level officers made nearly 670,000 marijuana-based arrests, accounting for 40% of those arrested for drugs that year. Possession accounted for 92% of the drug arrests in 2018.
- On a federal level, marijuana sentencing has dropped significantly, with less than 100 individuals sentenced for possession in 2017.
While efforts are underway to expunge the cannabis records of imprisoned individuals in certain states and the industry continues to advance support of criminal justice reform, there is still much more to be done.
Liesl says, “It is very encouraging to see so many states reforming and releasing prisoners, but there is a long road ahead to reach adequate support for justice impacted individuals reentering the workplace.”
The article also mentions CannabizTeam’s Aim Higher initiative, a training and re-entry program whose efforts include working with clients to create entry-level and internship roles for additional workplace opportunities. Additionally, CannabizTeam has partnered with the Last Prisoner Project, a non-profit organization focused on criminal justice reform in cannabis.
The entire industry must remain united and focused on additional efforts to continue pushing for cannabis justice, through tactics like funding and supporting workshops, programs and other educational efforts.
Benzinga’s cannabis section covers all things cannabis, hemp, CBD and psychedelics, with a focus on the finance and business side of the industry. The Fresh Toast is an award-winning digital health and lifestyle publication featuring dynamic and robust coverage of the cannabis industry.
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