As in previous years, Ben & Jerry’s used the 420 to highlight the harms of the federal ban on cannabis, particularly for communities of color. In collaboration with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the brand also announced its approval of congressional legislation aimed at legalizing cannabis and promoting social justice.
Legalization must have equity at its heart. That’s why we are calling on Congress to support the MORE Act, which would make cannabis legal and (this is an important “and”!), overturn previous convictions for cannabis,” Ben & Jerry’s published in a blog post. You want to feel good about 4/20? Then let’s make sure that legalization benefits everyone. It will turn the 4/20 into a day we can all celebrate.
Ben & Jerry’s pointed out that while legalization has allowed some people to take advantage of a growing industry, some citizens continue to be criminalized for cannabis, even in legal states, while racial disparities persist.
We need to do more than just commercialize an eccentric hippie stoner culture,” said Christopher Miller, head of global activism strategy at Ben & Jerry’s, “I think, especially now that there’s a lot more money being made as the industry becomes legalized and real, it’s incumbent on all of us, the individuals and businesses that operate in it, to be aware and ensure that the damage that has been done over the years [of cannabis prohibition] is repaired with this new phase around cannabis.
The company had made a similar argument for last year’s 4/20, pointing out that it was part of a multi-year project to support criminal justice reform around cannabis.