Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 17th provides us with the opportunity not only to remember all that he has done for the civil rights movement in this country, but it gives us the chance to think about what MORE needs to be done to build upon this progress. One of the ways that organizations and civil rights leaders in our country are continuing to fulfill his legacy is through criminal justice reform.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail mentions that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and this certainly applies to the criminal justice system—while black people make up 14% of the American population, they make up 36% of the prison population. Many believe that this is largely a result of a criminal justice system that impacts minorities much more severely than the general population. While laws aren’t intentionally written to target black people, it can be said that the effects of these laws affect poor and minority communities that lack the political and legal resources to fight against them. As Dr. King said, “justice too long delayed is justice denied.” There are equally troubling statistics for the Latino community, and really all communities of color.
As a result of the slow-moving reforms in drug policy and lawmaking in this country, we here at Everest reflect upon the life work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in this first month of 2022 by making sure our customers are familiar with an important cannabis criminal justice reform organization called the Last Prisoner Project.
As the organization so committedly puts on their website, https://www.lastprisonerproject.org:
“As the United States moves away from the criminalization of cannabis, giving rise to a major new industry, there remains the fundamental injustice inflicted upon those who have suffered criminal convictions and the consequences of those convictions.
Through legal intervention, public education and legislative advocacy, the Last Prisoner Project works to redress the past and continuing harms of our country’s unjust and ineffective approach to drug policy.”
The cannabis statistics we see every day are mind-boggling. Legal sales across the U.S.—14 states allow adult use, 36 allow for medical sales—hit a record early estimated total of $17.5 billion in 2020, a 46% increase from 2019, according to a new report. Meanwhile 15.7M people have been arrested for marijuana offenses in the last two decades and $47 BILLION is spent annually on the war on drugs.
Everest is looking to do its part in this difficult juxtaposition. For all the benefits that our customers receive from cannabis, and the joy we get from providing relief to tens of thousands of New Mexicans every day in our seven dispensaries statewide, we feel we can and should do more to foster the societal good that this industry is capable of especially with regard to marijuana drug and sentencing reform.
As a result, this year on Monday, January 17th – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Everest Cannabis Co. will be donating 2% of all sales at our seven NM dispensaries to the Last Prisoner Project. We invite you to join us in helping honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. either through a purchase at our dispensaries on 1/17, or through your own donation directly to The Last Prisoner Project – https://www.lastprisonerproject.org.