By J Gordon Curtis
Now that the election results are in, we’ve seen cannabis legitimately receive more votes than either presidential candidate. 4 more states are ushering in less-restrictive marijuana policies. With 1/3rd of America gaining legal access to recreational and well over half of our states already benefiting from legal access to the plant medicinally, it seems wild that the DEA would even take an interest in it. More than ever, it is well past the time to legalize it. Beyond that, our hope is that the final battle to end prohibition leaves no man behind.
Since inception, Perfect Plant’s messaging has been taken directly from the words of Martin Luther King Jr.: “Any civilized society it is every citizen’s responsibility to obey just laws. At the same time, it is every citizen’s responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” When it comes to cannabis, unfortunately, that second sentence is more necessary than ever.
With that mission at the forefront, we are partnering with the Last Prisoner Project to help with their goal of ending the unjust prohibition of Cannabis along with the pardoning of all non-violent offenders. We have created these new shirts and we are committing to donating 100% of our profits to the mission of the Last Prisoner Project.
It does not make sense for a man in Michigan to be serving a 68-year sentence (with 35 of those years left) for nonviolent Cannabis violations in a state where prohibition of the plant he was arrested for has been lifted.
The page for our “Legalize It” t-shirts also offers a donation button and we would like to encourage everyone, even if they do not wish to purchase a shirt, to consider donating to the Last Prisoner Project.
The upcoming vote on the Marijuana Opportunities, Reinvestment, and Expungements (MORE) Act gives us an unprecedented opportunity. With the House voting favor, this bill is going to see the Senate. This means we will have every current Senator and Congressperson on record as to where they stand regarding ending prohibition and reparations for this failed war. They will no longer be able to hide behind sound bites.
The MORE act is seeking to decriminalize (or deschedule) Marijuana on a federal level. For states that are already legal, this would mean a great deal for the owners and workers in the industry. They will finally be able to not have to worry about the federal government overstepping the state’s rights.
For states where Cannabis is not legal, this would decriminalize it federally but it would still be up to the states to decide where they stand on it. One thing is certain though, it will force all states to consider the option of legalization at once. With over two-thirds of the population in favor of ending prohibition, it does appear as though this could be a pathway forward to total legalization.
Somewhat surprisingly, the act seems to be facing a real chance in the Senate. Whether it will pass or not is still in the air but, with this being the first time this has come up since it was initially criminalized, there is finally hope. With the runoff uncertain, Georgia could be the deciding voice in this groundbreaking legislation.
Still, even if it does pass, there remains a lot of work left to be done.
Healing after the Racist War on Marijuana
The War on Drugs is rooted in racism and that is displayed evidently in Marijuana convictions as well. It can be clearly seen in the fact alone that roughly four times as many African Americans are arrested for violating Marijuana laws despite the fact that white people smoke just as much. Anyone that is questioning the racism of Marijuana prohibition is not really watching. (link to DEA article)
Ending prohibition is the beginning of the battle but this will not be done until there has also been a full expungement for all current and former non-violent Cannabis violations. Felony convictions hanging over the heads of those who have been incarcerated will only victimize them further and exclude them from working in the industry they suffered to help create. Felony convictions prevent those punished from (what has since become) a booming industry.
Still, to this today, there are many states that have inmates in jail (for cannabis related convictions) despite the fact that they have fully legalized the plant. Like Michael, sentenced to spend the rest of his life in jail for a plant that is now legal in his state of Michigan. His whole life has been taken away from him in the name of a plant that is no longer prohibited.
Additionally, we have to remain vigilant on legislation and those who are elected to power. Big Pharma, Big Agriculture, and Big Tobacco have an inherent interest in keeping as many people out of the industry as possible. Not allowing those punished for cannabis to legally benefit from the industry is as painful as letting the big corporations that have lobbied against it to dominate.
They will now reap a majority of the profit on the very thing they paid untold sums to keep away.
We cannot avoid this, but as a small company we know for every Hersheys there are countless small batch chocolate makers (like Olive and Sinclair here in Nashville.) Likewise, for every failing massive corporate conglomerate in the cannabis space there are companies like ours. Companies that understand quality are more often sacrificed with quantity.
Perfect Plant will not stop fighting to end prohibition and the pardoning of all non-violent cannabis convictions until there is nothing left to fight for. Please consider purchasing our shirt or giving directly to the Last Prisoner Project today. We will be printing these shirts ad infinitum or until the mission is no longer necessary.
This mission is not about just getting high. The economic implications alone should be enough but this is also for the recipient of Chemotherapy that doesn’t realize that Nausea can actually be helped. Or the opiate recipient that doesn’t realize there are alternatives to the addictive substances they are being given.
People like to point to the lack of information on Cannabis and, when they do, I say “great point!” I agree that we need more information on Cannabis as well. Let’s go ahead and end the prohibition of the whole plant so we can open up research and learn all there is to know about this Perfect Plant.