Ben & Jerry’s Call for Mass Expungement of Cannabis Convictions
This 4⁄20, Vermont-based ice cream makers Ben & Jerry’s took a stand against the racial injustice of cannabis prohibition.
Ben & Jerry’s teamed up with California cannabis dispensary Caliva to campaign for mass expungement of low level cannabis crimes. Despite the growing legalization of cannabis, Black Americans continue to be arrested at a significantly higher rate than whites for cannabis use and possession, even though the two groups consume the same amount of cannabis on average. This is something that needs to end, said the famed ice-cream makers.
“In states where pot is legal, and even though black people and white people use pot at similar rates, black people are still arrested way more often than whites. We love 4⁄20 and we love legalization, but that’s not OK,” Ben & Jerry’s stated.
“Let’s be clear: even with increased legalization, hundreds of thousands of people are still being arrested for pot. And most of those people are black,” the company added.
To do something about that, Caliva took 4.20 percent of all revenues generated on 4⁄20 and donated the money to Code for America’s Clear My Record project. The aim of Clear My Record is to help district attorneys automatically expunge minor cannabis offenses from individual criminal records using computer algorithms. Code for America has already successfully worked with DAs in both San Fransisco and Los Angeles to expunge nearly 60,000 marijuana convictions automatically.
“We’re very proud to be partnering with a brand as iconic as Ben & Jerry’s to drive awareness of Code America’s Clear My Record program,” said Caliva CEO Dennis O’Malley.
“We believe it’s our duty in the cannabis industry to pay respect to those who have been most affected by prohibition.”
Ben & Jerry’s have been long known for both their love of marijuana and their progressive political stance. You can help them in the fight to end the injustice of cannabis prohibition by singing a petition calling on Congress to expunge marijuana convictions across the country. The petition is available on their website.