If you’ve been following along with the Gentlemen Smugglers blog series, you may already be familiar with our incredible true story. From the highest heights of cannabis smuggling in the 70s, to doing his time in prison on the Kingpin statute, Barry “Flash” Foy has done it all and lived to tell the tale.
It is this life experience that informs the ethos of the GS brand to bring back “the good stuff” to the American people, all while doing our part to support those who have been harmed by the abject failure of the War on Drugs.
Cannabis social equity is vital in order to ensure that 21st century legalization efforts are enacted in the right ways. We’re proud to have started our brand in Massachusetts for many reasons, chief among which is the Commonwealth’s enduring focus on social equity within this sphere. We’re also proud to work with The Last Prisoner Project, donating a portion of our proceeds to their cause.
Follow along with this blog as we break down the efforts of these excellent organizations.
About Massachusetts’ Social Equity Program (SEP)
First, let’s talk about cannabis social equity in the Commonwealth. In Massachusetts, the Social Equity Program (SEP) was created to provide sustainable pathways into the cannabis industry for individuals who have been most impacted by marijuana prohibition, the War on Drugs, disproportionate arrest, and incarceration.
The program offers free, statewide technical assistance and training to participants, providing them with education, skill-based training, and other benefits.
The SEP is the first-of-its-kind program in the United States, and has been successful in offering benefits, training, and technical assistance to hundreds of participants. Recently, the third cohort of the SEP was launched, which is the largest cohort since the program’s creation, offering benefits, training, and technical assistance to 450 participants.
Massachusetts is the first state in the country to mandate that equity be part of the legal marijuana market framework, and the SEP is a critical part of this framework.
The state’s Social Equity Program attempts to ensure that people of color, and those with marijuana offenses prior to legalization, be afforded an opportunity to participate in the legal marijuana industry, promoting social equity within the state’s cannabis industry.
What is The Last Prisoner Project?
Next, let’s talk about The Last Prisoner Project. This is a nonprofit organization that was founded by cannabis industry leaders and criminal justice reform advocates in 2019.
The organization’s mission is to bring restorative justice to the cannabis industry by securing the release of those who have been unjustly imprisoned for non-violent drug offenses, providing support to those who have been released from prison, and advocating for policy changes that will end the harm caused by the War on Drugs.
What Does The Last Prisoner Project Do?
The Last Prisoner Project is focused on three main areas: clemency, reentry, and advocacy.
The Last Prisoner Project is working to secure the release of those who have been unjustly imprisoned for non-violent drug offenses. The organization is working with legal teams to identify cases where clemency is appropriate, and is working to raise awareness about these cases to increase public support for clemency.
The Last Prisoner Project is also providing support to those who have been released from prison. The organization is working to ensure that those who have been released have access to housing, employment, and other resources that will help them successfully reintegrate into society.
The Last Prisoner Project is also advocating for policy changes that will end the harm caused by the War on Drugs. The organization is working to raise awareness about the impact of the War on Drugs on communities of color, and is advocating for policies that will end the criminalization of cannabis and other drugs.
How Can You Get Involved?
There are many ways to get involved with The Last Prisoner Project. Here are a few ways that you can help:
The Last Prisoner Project is a nonprofit organization and relies on donations to fund its work. You can donate to the organization through its website.
The Last Prisoner Project is always looking for volunteers to help with its work. You can sign up to volunteer through the organization’s website.
Spread the Word!
You can help raise awareness about The Last Prisoner Project by sharing information about the organization on social media and with your friends and family.
Gentlemen Smugglers: Supporting Social Equity through Cannabis
We hope this blog helped to shine a light on some of the crucial work that is being done within the realm of cannabis social equity. As our brand continues to grow and develop, we will continue to utilize our platform to give voice to those that have been unfairly incarcerated for cannabis as well as those that are still feeling the effects of harmful drug policy.
Looking to support The Last Prisoner Project while enjoying some tasty GS buds? Be sure to check out our Store Locator to find out where you can get your hands on our premium cannabis products!