Photo courtesy of Ben & Jerry’s

News | 04.20.2022

Ben & Jerry’s Speak On Systemic Racism In The Cannabis Industry

In honor of 4/20, Ben & Jerry's is calling on you to urge your senator to expunge the records of those with cannabis-related convictions.

Yesterday, famous ice cream manufacturer and retailer Ben & Jerry’s hit us with the cold hard facts. Surprisingly, its recent report didn’t touch on new flavors, locations, or anything ice cream-related.

The company is calling on us to dismantle systemic racism in the cannabis industry.

This is huge for a company as large and popular as Ben & Jerry’s to take the time and write paragraphs on paragraphs regarding the harsh numbers of cannabis arrests in Black people throughout the United States. 

The report comes just before 4/20, the unofficial cannabis holiday. Perhaps the company was aware that, April 20, cannabis users will mow down on its various delicious flavors for a good-old munchie treat. 

While that’s quite the innocent scene, Ben & Jerry’s wanted to make clear that when you’re snacking on its creamy goods after a sesh, it’s vital to reflect on the brutal reality Black Americans have faced in the cannabis realm.

Photo courtesy of Ben & Jerry’s

“Even if you’re not in a state that has legalized, there’s still a pretty good chance that you can spend 4/20 doing your thing without having to worry about being arrested…If you’re a white person,” reads the report. 

Ben & Jerry’s pulled up facts left and right from reliable sources like MJBizDaily, NORML, Leafly, News Gallup, ACLU, NBC, and many more. 

One key takeaway from the report was comparing white and Black American cannabis consumption. For the former, “It’s fun—and lucrative: According to the latest data, 81% of cannabis executives are white.”

It touched on how both Democrats and Republicans are hopping on the pro-legalization train, which is great, but the “bad news is that the criminal justice system hasn’t kept up with the cultural shift,” the report notes. 

This is why Ben & Jerry’s is calling on you, the consumer, regardless of race, age, or gender, to urge your senator to legalize cannabis and expunge the remaining criminal records for those serving time for cannabis-related crimes. The company believes “Legalization must have equity at its heart,” and we’re firmly on board. 

“We love 4/20 and we love legalization, but we don’t love systematic racism, and that’s exactly what this is.”

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