Ben & Jerry's is celebrating 4/20, the unofficial national cannabis holiday, by shedding light on the racial disparity of marijuana convictions. The Vermont-based ice cream company, known for its progressive politics, has filled their social media over the last 24 hours with 4/20 related promotions and information about “cannabis justice.” In a post on their website published Friday, the company declared “legalization without justice is half-baked”—a reference to their ice cream flavor of the same name. Ben & Jerry’s shared information about Go Caliva, a cannabis dispensary, and their pledge to donate 4.20% of profits on 4/20 for a project titled Clear My Record, “which works to give people a second chance by clearing cannabis records.” Ben & Jerry's has not announced any similar profit sharing promotion of its own.
While marijuana is still illegal on the federal level, 33 states now have some form of legalization. Ben & Jerry's post highlights the fact that white people in the United States are far less likely to be stopped by police if they smoke weed in public. The story is not the same for black Americans, many of whom remain locked up for non-violent drug convictions. “... If you’re not in a state that legalized pot, there’s a still a pretty good chance that the cops won’t hassle you as you spend 4/20 doing your thing. If you’re a white person.” Ben & Jerry's writes. “Sorry to bring you down, but that’s the harsh reality.”