The Ben & Jerry’s co-founder started a new cannabis line, Maryland is taking a stand against discriminatory cannabis policing, and Singapore defied pleas and executed a suspected cannabis smuggler.
Let’s dive into this week’s canna-news.
Ben & Jerry’s Co-founder Tackles Social Injustice With New Cannabis Line
Ben and Jerry’s is known for its delicious ice cream and steadfast progressive values. Now, co-founder Ben Cohen is taking his commitment to these values one step further with the founding of a new non-profit cannabis line—Ben’s Best Blnz.
Cohen’s new company aims to tackle the social injustices stemming from the war on drugs. To do this, Ben’s Best Blnz plans to commit 80% of its profits to a grant program for Black cannabis entrepreneurs. The rest of the profits will be split between the Vermont Racial Justice Alliance and the Last Prisoner Project.
Ben’s Best Blnz cannabis is grown in soil free of nonorganic fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals. Products like pre-rolled joints will be available in cannabis shops across Vermont next month.
Would you give Ben’s Best Blnz’s products a try? Would you like to see other cannabis companies make similar social justice commitments? Let us know in the comments!
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Maryland Reevaluates Its Cannabis Policing Policy
Maryland is taking a major step toward curbing a long-held discriminatory policing practice. Starting July 1, 2023, the odor of cannabis in a vehicle will no longer be sufficient probable cause for law enforcement to detain or conduct a search and seizure. That means police will need to have additional reasonable suspicion in order to pull over the vehicle.
This isn’t the only good canna-news coming out of Maryland. A bill recently passed in the state’s legislature—now headed to the governor’s desk—is aiming to tweak the cannabis penalty structure. It would reduce the fine for public cannabis consumption from $250 to $50. Additionally, the bill calls for the expungement of cannabis possession charges for those caught with 10 grams or less.
What do you think of Maryland’s attempts to bring some cannabis justice? Let us know in the comments!
Debate Over Singapore’s Tough Drug Laws Reignited After Execution
On Wednesday, Singapore executed suspected cannabis smuggler Tangaraju Suppiah. The execution came despite pleas from Suppiah’s friends, family, and activists.
Suppiah was arrested back in 2017 for conspiracy to traffic 1,017.9 grams of cannabis. That total is twice the minimum volume Singapore deems worthy of a death sentence. While Singapore insists that its infamously tough drug laws keep its citizens safe, many around the world have started to voice their concerns.
Some of the loudest opposition comes from the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNCHR). In a statement released prior to the execution, the UNCHR said, “We have concerns around due process and respect for fair trial guarantees.” Given its concerns, the office asked that Singapore not proceed with the execution. Although the UNCHR’s request was ultimately ignored, it maintains its view that the country should impose a “formal moratorium” on its planned drug-related execution.
What’s your take on Singapore’s brutal cannabis laws? Do you think UN pressure will change anything? Let us know in the comments!