Short PBS Film Series Highlights Injustice Of Cannabis ProsecutionPosted by On


As more states continue to legalize, the legal cannabis industry is projected to net $80 billion dollars in annual sales by 2030, according to a short film slated to begin airing tonight on PBS. However, there’s a disturbing dichotomy that belies this rosy estimate. Thanks to outdated laws, 40,000 people are currently languishing in prison for non-violent cannabis offenses.

Entitled “Spotlight On: Last Prisoner Project,” the four-minute video highlights the injustice of cannabis prosecution. Notably featured in this specific film is the work of The Last Prisoner Project, a nonprofit focused on cannabis criminal justice reform. Presented by The Beehouse Justice Initiative, a New York City organization dedicated to healing “some of the harms caused by disparate enforcement of cannabis prohibition” and video production company Matador Content, the film is narrated by Chris Rock and directed by Ezra Paek.

Showcasing the damaging effects of marijuana prohibition, the film introduces to viewers the case of Stephanie Shepard, an African-American woman, who was charged in 2009 with a non-violent cannabis offense.

“I didn’t think that this plant in this day and age could get somebody like me with no criminal history, prison time,” she said, recalling her subsequent trial and punishment. “When the judge said 120 months, it didn’t even compute into my head.”

Even after her lawyer told her that she…

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As more states continue to legalize, the legal cannabis industry is projected to net $80 billion dollars in annual sales by 2030, according to a short film slated to begin airing tonight on PBS. However, there’s a disturbing dichotomy that belies this rosy estimate. Thanks to outdated laws, 40,000 people are currently languishing in prison for non-violent cannabis offenses.

Entitled “Spotlight On: Last Prisoner Project,” the four-minute video highlights the injustice of cannabis prosecution. Notably featured in this specific film is the work of The Last Prisoner Project, a nonprofit focused on cannabis criminal justice reform. Presented by The Beehouse Justice Initiative, a New York City organization dedicated to healing “some of the harms caused by disparate enforcement of cannabis prohibition” and video production company Matador Content, the film is narrated by Chris Rock and directed by Ezra Paek.

Showcasing the damaging effects of marijuana prohibition, the film introduces to viewers the case of Stephanie Shepard, an African-American woman, who was charged in 2009 with a non-violent cannabis offense.

“I didn’t think that this plant in this day and age could get somebody like me with no criminal history, prison time,” she said, recalling her subsequent trial and punishment. “When the judge said 120 months, it didn’t even compute into my head.”

Even after her lawyer told her that she…



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