With proper hygiene and social distancing procedures in place, we’re looking at a long multiple month quarantine slog. This is the reality we live in now, and even though there are some assholes out there not exactly doing their best to flatten the curve, as long as we stay the course and don’t join them, we’ll get through this together with our health and families intact. That won’t be the same for populations in prisons, which effectively become incubators for disease, because it’s awfully hard to maintain social distancing in a prison.
4Front Ventures (FFNT.C) announced today that they’re going to shift some of their manufacturing capabilities at their Washington production facility to producing liquid disinfectant or hand sanitizer, and then taking advantage of a partnership with the Last Prisoner Project (LPP), they’re going to donate a portion of the bottles to select prisons in need of supplies starting April 20.
“The incarcerated population is extremely vulnerable and at a unique risk to this pandemic, as it is nearly impossible to adhere to the recommended social distancing guidelines amid overcrowding and unsanitary living conditions. We don’t believe any human being should serve a prison sentence for a cannabis offense, much less face incarceration during a global pandemic like COVID-19,” said Leo Gontmakher, CEO of 4Front.
The Last Prisoner Project is a nonprofit coalition of cannabis industry leaders, executives, and artists dedicated to bringing restorative justice to the cannabis industry. The shift in the United States has been away from criminalization of cannabis, and an entirely new industry has risen up in its absence.
If you’ve got twenty more minutes, here’s a podcast from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on the subject:
A quick visit to the LPP’s website gives us the statistic that over 40,000 cannabis prisoners are locked in jails for doing something that today wouldn’t be a crime, and that number is considerably more in jails and prisons worldwide. That’s not to forget the 15.7 million people arrested for cannabis offenses in the past ten years, the $47 billion spent on the war on drugs, and the $10.4 billion legal cannabis industry sales for 2018 in the United States.
The LPP is working with the Departments of Corrections to figure out the best way to deliver the disinfectant liquid to the prisons in the most need, on a state by state basis.
“While we continue to push the justice system to right its wrongs, we are working diligently to do everything we can to make sure our constituents are receiving the essential sanitary tools they need to protect themselves. At its roots, the cannabis community is an activist community, and it’s entirely keeping with the culture to step up and help those where we can,” said Sarah Gersten, executive director of the Last Prisoner Project.
4Front Ventures will supply hand sanitizer to its retail locations in Mission and Brightleaf production facilities. The company is also going to be look for medical professionals and first responders in Seattle, Chicago and Boston, where the company has a strong production presence, and deliver hand sanitizer to them in the case of a shortage.