Juneteenth: Honoring Those Dedicated to Fighting Injustice
Juneteenth is emblematic of never giving up hope in uncertain times and marks this country’s true independence day, when our Black brethren finally learned of their freedom. The National Museum of African American History & Culture at the Smithsonian has put together a brief history on Juneteenth if you’re interested in taking a deeper dive. It would be almost two-and-a-half years after the passing of the Thirteenth Amendment before enslaved people in the confederate territories would finally be freed by executive decree on June 19, 1865.
Walden Cannabis is inspired in part by Henry David Thoreau’s love of nature, but also his unwavering dedication to abolition, which was not without controversy. In 1991, roughly 15 years into the War on Drugs, Graham Boyd wrote that the drug war provided a new, ever increasing supply of prisoners in his piece entitled, “The Drug War is the new Jim Crow.” He goes on to point out that the U.S. was incarcerating African American men at a rate four times the rate of incarceration of black men in South Africa under apartheid.
Punitive drug policies have eroded the cornerstone of U.S. democracy and many of the protections afforded to its citizens through the Bill of Rights — namely, freedom of speech, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, property rights and the right to vote. It’s also important to note that the War on Drugs has unjustly and unfairly disenfranchised former felons. This country remains the only democracy in the world that “deprives its citizens of the right to vote after they have completed their sentences,” notes Boyd. In 1991, he wrote “We will one day understand that the war on drugs was a war on people and communities.” That day has come and passed and it’s glaringly apparent that the people and communities Boyd spoke of were predominantly black and brown.
Juneteenth provides an opportunity to acknowledge our successes and speak truth to how far we still have to go. As a cannabis business, we at Walden feel a responsibility to continue to fight for those who are unjustly incarcerated due to the War on Drugs and racist practices and policies.
In celebration and remembrance of all those who dedicate their lives to fighting injustice, Walden will be donating 100 percent of our profits from Juneteenth sales at all Dockside Cannabis locations in support of the Last Prisoner Project.
The LPP is a non-profit organization dedicated to cannabis criminal justice reform. Since its inception in 2019 its dedicated time and resources to bringing awareness to those who have suffered the consequences of criminal convictions for cannabis offenses. As wealth builds for many in the cannabis industry there remains much work to be done to release and rebuild the lives of those who have suffered from unjust cannabis criminalization.
We believe in the mission of the Last Prisoner Project and redressing the harms, current and past, of unjust laws and policies that continue to criminalize individuals for what is now legal.
Please join us in supporting the LPP this Juneteenth by purchasing Walden products at your local Dockside Cannabis. With four locations and online ordering it’s easier than ever to give back this Juneteenth.