For many, the inarguable ease of sanctioned marijuana sales and usage made possible by progressive states' legality shifts can likely obscure the fact that—despite such promising developments in parts of the country—far too many others remain behind bars for weed-related offenses.
In the latest episode of Complex World, NBA veteran and Viola founder Al Harrington and Last Prison Project founder Steve DeAngelo discuss this urgent justice issue, connecting it to the current concerns surrounding COVID-19's spread in jails and prisons.
"Rich people get justice and people without money don't," DeAngelo notes in the episode, adding that he spent three decades in the underground cannabis market, an experience that informed his current work to help free those serving unfairly harsh sentences for weed-related offenses.
"If my skin was a different color, I would probably almost certainly either be dead or I would be in prison right now myself," he says. "There are 40,000 plus people in prison in the United States alone on cannabis charges. 50 of them, plus, are there for life without parole because they grew some cannabis or smuggled some cannabis or helped repair cars that were used for smuggling cannabis and they will die there if we don't help get them out. They will die in prison."
See the full episode, which also includes a breakdown of the heartbreaking story of Corvain Cooper, via the video up top.