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Cannabis Nonprofits You Can Support on Giving Tuesday

cannabis non profits you can support on giving tuesday

The Tuesday following Thanksgiving in the United States is a call to action to contribute to non profit organizations that make a difference. There are several charities that the cannabis industry also supports and advocates for these charities within their own communities, with different fundraising initiatives throughout the year.

During the holiday season, if you plan to donate to non profit organizations that serve cannabis community members, here are some suggestions to consider.

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) Justice Fund

In a country where cannabis is recognized for medicinal use and legalized in almost every state, it is hard to believe that people are still facing long-term prison sentences for personal possession. That is being charged with a minuscule amount of cannabis.

Cannabis prohibition is still not over, and many people are being charged with non-violent simple possession with devasting consequences. Black and brown Americans still have the highest arrest rate and most punitive sentencing regarding personal use and possession of cannabis. The 2022 FBI annual crime report shared that over 250,000 Americans were arrested for cannabis offenses that year alone.

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) announced on November 12, 2023, their intention to launch the “Cannabis Justice Fund.” The organization has several generous donors who have agreed to match every dollar donated to the Cannabis Justice Fun until Giving Tuesday. The goal is to reach $20,000 in donations to launch this new initiative.

The Marijuana Policy Project Cannabis Justice Fund will advocate for federal and state policies that expunge marijuana-related convictions and reduce the number of law enforcement encounters and arrests for non-violent simple possession crimes.

Each donation on Giving Tuesday will be doubled for the Marijuana Policy Project Cannabis Justice Fund. Learn more about making a donation.

last prisoner project

The Last Prisoner Project

This amazing charity works to improve the lives of inmates who are serving time as a result of a non-violent cannabis possession charge. Also, the organization works to free people who are serving older long-term sentences for cannabis distribution, like Richard DeLisi, a Florida resident who was sentenced to a 90-year prison term in 1989 and was released in 2020 at the age of 71.

According to data provided by the United States Sentencing Commission (January 2023), “Weighing the Impact of Simple Possession of Marijuana,” possession of any controlled substance is a federal Class A misdemeanor, with a maximum sentence of one year and a fine of $1,000. However, repeat offenders can face a Class E felony charge, resulting in up to three years of incarceration.

Interestingly, the arrest rates and punitive sentences are often provided by states, not federal law enforcement. State legalization of medical or recreational cannabis use has led to significantly lower arrest rates. But only recently has the federal government moved toward decriminalization with the possibility of expungement for incarcerated Americans.

The nonprofit organization also provides:

  • Financial help for incarcerated prisoners who require health care services but do not have the money to provide the required co-pay. Many prisons require payment for health services.
  • Commissary funds are for food, medicine, and other essentials, where a prisoner has no family support while serving time, and for low-income families.
  • Telephone calls can cost as much as $25 for 15 minutes within a prison. The Last Prisoner Project helps provide funds to inmates who cannot afford to use the phone to keep in touch with family.
  • Legal fees are also provided to inmates to apply for expungement, parole, and early release when the individual’s sentence has been partially served. This is very important because maximum legal penalties have changed in many states. But some prisoners still serve “grandfathered” sentences that would no longer apply if arrested today.
  • Cannabis criminal justice reform is something that the Last Prisoner Project works on constantly to advance, and petitions both state and federal government bodies to reduce sentences for non-violent simple possession crimes.

To support the Last Prisoner Project on Giving Tuesday, visit their website. There are also other ways to get involved. Learn more about the letter-writing campaigns to help appeal sentences on behalf of incarcerated Americans and to change criminal sentencing for simple possession crimes.

veterans cannabis project

The Veterans Cannabis Project

The change in Veterans Affairs (VA) policy had a lot to do with many nonprofit organizations like this one, which advocated for legal changes. Previously, American veterans with disabilities who wanted to try medical cannabis were prohibited from doing so. In fact, if they tested positive for THC or any other controlled substance, they could have risked losing their VA benefits.

That is not the case today. While a VA facility cannot certify a veteran for medical cannabis, there is no chance that someone living in a legalized state who has a medical card may lose their benefits. This is a tremendous step forward to ensure access to alternative health options for veterans who suffer from chronic pain, diabetes, neuropathy, and mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The Veterans Cannabis Project is one of the charities constantly fighting for access and providing education to veterans who may not know that medical cannabis is a legal option for them. To support this charity, please visit their website. You can also sign up to become a volunteer advocate to fight for non-punitive legal access for veterans.


Supporting Non Profit Organizations By Volunteering

There are other meaningful ways to give that don’t involve making a cash donation. Supporting charities by providing volunteer time is just as important. Some volunteer opportunities include letter-writing campaigns for legal reform or to support early release for individuals serving egregious sentences for simple cannabis possession crimes.

Other charities work on a mission to help make the holiday season better for incarcerated Americans. That can involve giving care packages with sundries and food essentials. Find your favorite nonprofit and give some time and energy to make a difference in the lives of those incarcerated for cannabis possession.


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