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SXSW 2021

Truth to Power: Restorative Justice In Cannabis

Imagine sitting in a cell for months or years or decades, convicted of an activity that is no longer a crime, your family suffering, while thousands of other people build intergenerational wealth doing exactly the same thing. That is the situation that thousands of cannabis prisoners face today in this country while cannabis is deemed "essential". This panel will expose this fundamental injustice through a moderated conversation between individuals who have direct experience with the devastating effects of the criminalization of cannabis, specifically, incarceration for cannabis offenses. These experiences will be juxtaposed with the rising tide of legalization and the booming cannabis industry. Finally, we explore how the cannabis industry can work together to repair these injustices.

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  1. Are people still being arrested and incarcerated for cannabis use and what communities do these individuals represent?
  2. What are the effects that incarceration, and simply having a criminal record, have on someone's life?
  3. How can the cannabis industry make restorative justice a fundamental part of its business model?



Sarah Gersten, Executive Director and General Counsel, Last Prisoner Project

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