BURLINGTON, VT. April 18, 2022 — The fact that Ben & Jerry’s and the American Civil Liberties Union are all-in on cannabis justice this 4/20 may not be shocking. What IS news is that earlier this month the U.S. House of Representative passed legislation that would legalize cannabis and expunge the records of people convicted of cannabis crimes. We’re now calling on the Senate to step up immediately to pass its version of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act, or MORE Act, and ensure that the people most impacted by the war on drugs and mass incarceration – people of color – actually benefit from cannabis decriminalization.
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 are still locked up for past convictions—and they are disproportionately Black. In addition, the legal cannabis industry is now worth more than $25 billion a year, and white men are more than 70% of the C-suite in the industry while only 7% are Black
To put it simply, our cannabis laws are half baked.
That’s why Ben & Jerry’s and the ACLU have teamed up this 4/20 to provide an easy way for Americans to take action and demand the Senate pass cannabis justice legislation. The joint 4/20 campaign will include a series of digital ads on social media platforms that provide Americans an easy, one-click way to send a message to their Senators. With 91% of U.S. adults supporting some sort of marijuana legalization, it’s time for our laws to reflect the will of the people.
“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.”
“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.”
Visit benjerry.com on 4/20 to learn more.
It’s high time for change.
About Ben & Jerry's
Ben & Jerry's is an aspiring social justice company that believes in a greater calling than simply making and selling the world’s best ice cream. The company produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream and Non-Dairy/vegan desserts using high-quality ingredients and lots of big chunks and swirls. As a certified B Corp, Ben & Jerry's incorporates its vision of Linked Prosperity into its business practices via values-led sourcing initiatives when purchasing ingredients. Ben & Jerry's is distributed in over 35 countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchised Scoop Shops, and via on-demand delivery services. Ben & Jerry's, a Vermont corporation and wholly owned subsidiary of Unilever, 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 organizing around the country. For up-to-date information visit benjerry.com.
About the American Civil Liberties Union
For more than 100 years, the ACLU has worked in courts, legislatures, and communities to protect the constitutional rights of all people. With a nationwide network of offices and millions of members and supporters, we take up the toughest civil liberties fights. Beyond one person, party, or side — we the people dare to create a more perfect union. Learn more at aclu.org
Ben & Jerry’s
Sean Greenwood, Grand Poobah of PR, Ben & Jerry’s
Elsa Rainey, Communications Strategist, ACLU