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Ben & Jerry’s Campaigns to Thaw Roadblocks to Cannabis Justice on 4/20

Launches online petition with the ACLU to urge passage of the cannabis reform MORE Act.




Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry’s is using the cannabis celebration day of 4/20 to launch an online campaign and petition in concert with the ACLU to urge support of the MORE Act and call for equal justice for those convicted of cannabis crimes. PHOTOS COURTESY BEN & JERRY’S

Vermont’s Ben & Jerry’s and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) wants those celebrating 4/20 to take a moment and remember all is not yet sweetness and light in the cannabis community. On April 20, Ben & Jerry’s and nonprofit launched a series of digital ads on social media with a petition calling on U.S. Senate to pass the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, or MORE Act.

The MORE Act, recently approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, ensures that those most impacted by the war on drugs actually benefit from cannabis decriminalization. “It’s hard to get excited about #420 when people of color are still being arrested for cannabis — even in states that have legalized it. We have to do better. Learn more and take action now,” tweeted the Burlington-based ice cream company.

The series of ads link to an online petition making it easy for the two-thirds of U.S. adults who support legalization to “take action on cannabis justice now” by sending a direct message to the Senate in support the MORE Act. The legislation would deschedule cannabis and expunge the records of people convicted of cannabis crimes – the majority of whom are people of color.

“For too long, America’s drug laws have been unequally applied at great cost to Black and Brown communities. While no law can undo lifetimes of injustice, our nation must immediately take basic steps that an overwhelming majority of Americans support,” said Cynthia W. Roseberry, deputy director of policy at the ACLU. “That’s what this 4/20 Cannabis Justice campaign is all about, bringing the voice of Americans to their policymakers in the Capitol.”

The online petition to the U.S. Senate sponsored by Ben & Jerry’s and the ACLU makes it simple for those in support of cannabis legalization to have their voice heard.

Inequality from prison to the boardroom
Despite 39 states decriminalizing or legalizing cannabis for medical or recreational use, hundreds of thousands of people are still arrested every year for possession or locked up for past convictions. In addition, the legal cannabis industry is now worth more than US$25 billion a year and white males comprise more than 70% of the C-suite occupants, while only 7% are Black.


“The Black and Brown community have borne the high cost of cannabis prohibition and the system of mass incarceration that it has fueled, while white men reap the financial benefits of the legalized cannabis industry,” said Chris Miller, global head of activism strategy at Ben & Jerry’s. “That’s why the Senate must immediately pass legislation that begins to right the wrongs of the decades long war on drugs by legalizing cannabis and expunging records while restoring equity to the booming legal cannabis industry.”

An aspiring social justice company, Ben & Jerry’s operates its business on a three-part mission statement emphasizing product quality, a fair financial return and addressing issues of social, racial and environmental injustice around the globe. The Ben & Jerry’s Foundation, guided by Ben & Jerry’s employees, granted $3.4MM in 2020 to support progressive, justice-focused grassroots organizations. And for more than 100 years, the ACLU has worked in courts, legislatures and communities to protect the constitutional rights of all people. w

Brad Cheng is the digital editor of Global Cannabis Times, produced by SmartWork Media. Brad's journalism career spans working as an editor for PR Newswire, The Nation and The Santa Barbara News Press, and as Managing Editor of The Katy Courier, and publisher of Now This in Princeton. His career as a screenwriter took him into entertainment advertising, writing major film campaigns for studios and for HBO.



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