SXSW 2024

From Prison to Prosperity: How Advocacy Can Impact Cannabis


While 39 states have legalized cannabis in some form, there remains a fundamental injustice for those still incarcerated for cannabis and suffering from the collateral consequences of a criminal record. Hip-hop, rap, and pop culture have always been uniquely intertwined with pushing the need to reform our outdated policies from the War on Drugs. In this panel, you will learn how to leverage the power of advocacy through storytelling, activist collaborations, and direct policy change to improve the lives of those harmed by cannabis criminalization.

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  1. This session will provide an example of storytelling and the multiple factors that are important for stakeholders to hear if they are to take action.
  2. It will highlight the connections between hip-hop and cannabis culture and how collaborating with artists can strengthen your advocacy's impact.
  3. It will teach the audience how to navigate direct lobbying to policymakers, build a grassroots movement, and translate advocacy to real policy change.



Mary Bailey, Managing Director, Last Prisoner Project

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Panel
  • Track: Culture
  • Track 2
  • Level: Beginner

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