A partnership between a Seattle-based artist, Teddy “Stat” Phillips, and Washington cannabis company Solstice brings awareness to people still incarcerated on cannabis-related charges.
Solstice, founded in 2010, has seen a change in the attitudes and laws surrounding cannabis, but there’s still a lack of consistency in the nation’s cannabis laws.
“We really focused on legalization, on medical cannabis, and fast forward 10 years—we accomplished that in Washington state, we accomplished that in a lot of states in the US, and so many people feel like the battle’s kind of over, but it’s not,” Solstice CEO and Co-Founder Will Denman told King 5 News.
Solstice launched an artist series elevating local and community voices through their platform and products. However, when they reached out to Phillips, he proposed a campaign that drew attention and raised money. That led to Free The Homies, an initiative working with the Last Prisoner Project.
The Last Prisoner Project brings together cannabis industry leaders, criminal and social justice advocates, policy and education experts, and leaders in social justice and drug policy reform to work to end this fundamental injustice. According to the organization, an estimated 40,000 individuals are currently imprisoned on cannabis-related charges.
“Even the establishment we’re in right now, they’re selling cannabis, but people who got locked up a while ago are still doing time on it,” Phillips added. “So it’s a systemic issue, but I’m happy to have partners that see the issue and want to bring awareness to it as well.”
Phillips and Solstice have created two art designs for the Free The Homies initiative. One was inspired by Monopoly’s “Get Out Of Jail Free” card, and the other recognizes Allen Russell, who is currently serving a life sentence in Mississippi for marijuana possession.
Free The Homies is also educating others on the fact that Black people are disproportionately incarcerated on cannabis-related charges while at the same time accounting for less than 2% of legal cannabis business owners.
Cannabis products featuring the artwork are currently on sale at several dispensaries in the Seattle area, including Have A Heart and The Reef, where proceeds from sales will go to the Last Prisoner Project.