M-1 of dead prez Discusses Criminal Justice Reform, Last Prisoner Project Benefit Concert

in Culture

People remain behind bars for cannabis-related convictions despite the abundance of legalization and decriminalization measures that roll out in the U.S. Rather than be apathetic about cannabis prisoners, it’s time to do something about it.

Keep Austin Weed is partnering with cannabis criminal justice reform nonprofit Last Prisoner Project (LPP) and pioneering hip-hop group dead prez. LPP focuses on three key criminal justice reform initiatives: prisoner release, cannabis record clearance, and reentry support. 

Dead prez will be performing at a benefit concert for LPP on March 13 from 6-10 p.m. at the Far Out Lounge & Stage during the South by Southwest (SXSW) tech, film, music, education, and culture festival in Austin, Texas. The Far Out Lounge & Stage provides more information about the event Let’s Get Free on the website.

The event marks the appointment of Mutulu Olugbala, aka M-1, of dead prez, to LPP’s Board of Directors. He’ll be joining cannabis industry leaders, executives, and activists who are committed to supporting LPP’s mission to free cannabis prisoners who still remain behind bars.

There will be a performance by dead prez along with special guests, including Blindspotting creators Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs (Hamilton), both of whom appear in the original 2018 film.

Arrests Continue

According to the FBI’s Crime Data Explorer, state and local law enforcement agencies reported 170,856 arrests for cannabis possession in 2021, slightly down from over 226,000 in 2020. And Texas was home to the highest number of arrests, with over 60,000 arrests.

Despite all of the decriminalization measures, including Texas’s city-level decriminalization measures, the arrests continue, and people remain behind bars for outdated laws. LPP estimates at least 40,000 remain incarcerated in the U.S. for crimes involving cannabis. 

“Indeed this is fundamentally wrong,” M-1 tells High Times. “It’s plain to see …

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Author: Benjamin M. Adams / High Times

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