Thursday, November 30, 2023

Bella Thorne Calls For Social Equity In The Cannabis Industry

The actress wants to help destigmatize cannabis and provide easy access to the largest amount of people possible, including kids.

A few weeks ago, I spoke with Bella Thorne, Disney Channel child actress turned singer, an book author for a Forbes article. We went into cannabis, sex, and other taboo topics, as we discussed the launch of her new weed brand Forbidden Flowers, released in partnership with Glass House Group.

But Bella, who’s always been a rebel, cares about people. She’s a rebel with a cause – or a few, to be honest.

One of them is destigmatizing cannabis and providing easy access to the largest amount of people possible, including kids.

“I’m sorry, but if marijuana is going to stop your kid from committing suicide, or if weed is going to help your kids who has eating disorders; or if weed is going to help your kid with their overwhelming anxiety… Just get over it. There’s much worse things than weed,” Bella told me at the time.

I decided to circle back with her on what’s next in her weed-related plans. I was expecting her to bring up a new line of edibles, or THC-infused lubes, or something like that. Instead, she raised the issue of social equity and record expungement.

“I don’t know the best way to go about it just yet, but I really want to find a way to get people to pay attention to of those still incarcerated for marijuana charges,” she said. “It’s just absolutely ridiculous… You’ve got a person in jail for manslaughter, and their prison sentence is shorter than that of someone who was caught caring and eighth of weed in their in their pocket.”

Black Market Marijuana Buyers Might Be Getting Hemp Instead
Photo by Anton Petrus/Getty Images

She added, flustered: “I’m sorry, what? How does this make sense? How does our justice system make sense?” For reference, as explained in this recent article on the “Last Prisoner Project,” a program aimed at getting people in jail for cannabis out of prison and back into society, more than 40,000 people are currently serving time for cannabis-related offenses in the U.S. alone.

Bella asks: How is it possible that, “at this point of cannabis being so legalized and so normal that you can literally go down the street and puff a smoke,” people are still in jail for some weed?

“So, I’m trying to think of ways to get people to pay attention; to hear their names; to kind of blast their names in our faces; because it feels that, as a society we can’t ignore the people that we put in jail… We can’t, as a society, just put people in jail and then go like, ‘Okay, bye now! See you never again,’ and just forget about them forever… I just hate this so much. It’s crazy


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