April 20 (aka 420) has traditionally been a cause for celebration among cannabis users. But rather than celebrate this year, House of Wise and the nonprofit Last Prisoner Project are turning our attention to the urgent need for cannabis criminal justice reform.
Timed to the 420 "holiday," we're launching a new, limited-edition Justice For All CBD Gummy Sampler Box, available for purchase now. All proceeds from the sale of this special-edition sampler will go to Sean and Eboni Worsley and the Last Prisoner Project Family Support Fund.
A House of Wise partner from day one, Last Prisoner Project is a nonprofit dedicated to tackling criminal justice reform for the cannabis community and helping formerly incarcerated people transition into freedom.
Meet Sean and Eboni Worsley
Sean and Eboni Worsleys' story is a case study in how our country's inconsistent state-by-state marijuana laws can have Kafkaesque consequences for cannabis users. Sean is a decorated veteran who served in the Iraq War, where he sustained a traumatic brain injury and was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. He found relief from medical marijuana, which eased the insomnia, paranoia, and night terrors caused by PTSD.
In August 2016, Sean and his wife, Eboni, were traveling through Alabama on the way to visit family when they were arrested with 10 grams of medical cannabis. The Worsleys were charged with a Class C felony for possession of cannabis with intent to distribute. Although Eboni's charges were eventually dropped, Sean endured almost a year in prison and five years of probation, not to mention thousands of dollars in lost wages and fines.
"I feel like I’m being thrown away by a country I went and served for," Sean wrote in a letter from the Pickens County Jail to Alabama Appleseed, a criminal justice organization.
Six years of uncertainty and legal back-and-forth took an intense mental and physical toll on the Worsleys. Sean's incarceration served to further traumatize a decorated veteran who was already suffering from PTSD, and now he's working hard to repair his own mental health as well as that of his wife and his children.
About the Justice For All CBD Sampler Box
The limited-edition Justice For All CBD Gummy Sampler Box is now available for purchase on houseofwise.co for $75. One hundred percent of profits from all sales of the product will go to Last Prisoner Project’s Family Support Fund and the Worsley Family, providing financial support as they focus on trauma healing and rebuilding their family.
Each Justice For All product pack includes 12 individually wrapped CBD Gummies from House of Wise including three of each: Sleep, Stress, Sex, and Strength Gummies.
The limited-edition box features art and design by Emily Eizen, inspired by the Worsleys story. The design incorporates a camouflage print to represent Sean's military service, with elements of purple to highlight Sean's Purple Heart, green to show gratitude to the help he gets from medical cannabis, and pink to represent Eboni and the other strong women in his life. Read our interview with cannabis activist and multimedia artist Emily Eizen (pictured below).
On the box, the camo design is reflected symmetrically, like a Rorschach inkblot test, to highlight the serious mental health consequences of Sean's military service and his incarceration.
The packaging design also features imagery of broken chains, which is a motif often used by Last Prisoner Project, to "draw attention to the immediate need for change and reform in the American criminal justice system," says Eizen.
Eizen also created an NFT inspired by the Worsleys' story, which will be unveiled on April 15. Sign up for a special waitlist to gain access to the NFT auction.
The Fight For Cannabis Clemency
While many Americans plan to commemorate 420 by legally consuming marijuana, an estimated 40,000 people in the U.S. are still languishing in prison cells for cannabis-related offenses. House of Wise recognizes that it is a privilege to profit from the sale of hemp products, and we believe that it's our moral obligation to help combat cannabis-related incarcerations.
In order to change policy and remove stigmas for cannabis and hemp users, we're working with Last Prisoner Project to promote a petition urging the Biden Administration to create a Presidential Cannabis Clemency Board. (Take action by adding your name.)
“The direct harms and collateral consequences of a cannabis conviction send ripple effects of trauma throughout each family that is negatively impacted," says Mary Bailey, Managing Director of Last Prisoner Project. "Those families deserve support, community, and the comfort of knowing that there are folks out there fighting for their loved one's freedom."
Today, recreational cannabis is legal in 18 states and Washington, DC. But between 2010 and 2018, the U.S. made 6.1 million marijuana-related arrests, according to the ACLU. The effects of our country's decades-long war on weed will reverberate for years to come, especially in communities of color, which have been disproportionately affected by arrests and incarceration.
The very prohibition of marijuana in the United States has racist origins, and "the vast majority of modern marijuana enforcement activity has been directed at Black and Latinx communities," according to a 2020 Last Prisoner Project report entitled "Criminal Injustice: Cannabis & the Rise of the Carceral State."
Though white and Black people tend to use marijuana at similar rates, Black people in the U.S. are 3.73 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana possession, even in states where cannabis is legal.
The Presidential Cannabis Clemency Board — which should be staffed with individuals with lived and/or professional expertise — would be tasked exclusively with helping administer pardons and commutations to people with federal cannabis-related convictions. The board would also provide data, insights, and learnings necessary for a more expansive use of this approach.
Take action by adding your name here, urging the Biden Administration to create a Presidential Cannabis Clemency Board. And purchase the Justice For All CBD Sampler Box now; all proceeds go to the Last Prisoner Project Family Support Fund and the Worsley family.