Consumers of Ben & Jerry's ice cream are about to get a taste of politics by embracing 4/20, which is national weed-appreciation day.
As if we need a holiday for toking, rallies across the country in places like California and Denver where marijuana is legal, are celebrating the occasion by lighting up, laughing, and snacking on Doritos as the role of recreational cannabis use slowly becomes legalized at a federal level.
Ben & Jerry's is celebrating 4/20 and the legalization of cannabis in 33 states with free ice cream, but they are also launching a criminal justice reform campaign through a petition asking Congress to expunge prior marijuana convictions.
The campaign is a reaction towards cannabis possession disproportionately penalizing people of color.
Ben & Jerry released a video, stating some woke statistics by asking a question.
"Ever notice how most people who make $$$ off legalized cannabis are white?"
It’s hard to celebrate 4/20 when so many people of color are still being arrested for pot. We have to do better. Le… https://t.co/2NhaGL1vgB— Ben & Jerry's (@Ben & Jerry's)1555774000.0
The petition, which received 21,900 signatures since Saturday, read:
"Want to feel really really good this 4/20? Then let's make sure that legalization benefits all of us. That'll turn 4/20 into a day that we all can celebrate."
@benandjerrys @1AMRadio damn ben and jerry’s somehow woke lol— yo its 11am wake tf up (@yo its 11am wake tf up)1555777562.0
@benandjerrys @3L3V3NTH https://t.co/YyUkPIXNnL— Susan Maurer (@Susan Maurer)1555778607.0
Pssst. People of color don’t call it pot. But this is still great! https://t.co/nuSRMrW4MP— Dr. Ziegler ✊🏿😚💨 (@Dr. Ziegler ✊🏿😚💨)1555779782.0
Ben & Jerry's wrote in their petition:
"And even if you're not in a state that legalized pot, there's a still a pretty good chance that the cops won't hassle you as you spend 4/20 doing your thing."
"If you're a white person."
"Sorry to bring you down, but that's the harsh reality. If you love pot AND you're white, everything is totally awesome these days."
According to data collected from the American Civil Liberties Union between 2001 and 2010, a black person was 3.73 more likely to be arrested for possession of marijuana than a white person.
It's time to stop criminalizing weed.
👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 Let’s talk about it. HALF A MILLION Canadians have criminal records for simple cannabis possession- a non… https://t.co/B8EgRiMOrw— Karissa Pukas (@Karissa Pukas)1555783128.0
The ice cream company's petition also asks Congress to give pardons and amnesty only to those who were convicted for marijuana possession.
Ice cream fans still raised an eyebrow over Ben & Jerry's' political involvement.
Ok are brands allowed to use social justice to promote ice cream— Wass6p (@Wass6p)1555785331.0
But that is what the Vermont-based company was founded on.
@ka5sh The founders have been doing this kind of activism since they started the company. When they sold it part of… https://t.co/nvp5BHGSTu— Darwinnn69 (@Darwinnn69)1555793776.0
@ka5sh They've been doing this for 20+ years and was pretty much a condition the original owners forced upon sale o… https://t.co/84F6e8kC4G— You might be interested in (@You might be interested in)1555791624.0
@ka5sh i hate massive corporations as much as the next guy (prolly more) but ben and jerry been woke, they were lit… https://t.co/cxwQGZlPXa— VIЯAL (@VIЯAL)1555785637.0
Their support for the equality of various communities give their brand an added boost of flavor.
Last year I went to Ben & Jerry’s HQ in Vermont to learn about the brand. They hire local people & give back to com… https://t.co/P1mcIWffWJ— Grace ☾ (@Grace ☾)1555784260.0
Kudos to Ben & Jerry's! However, will the world ever be ready for this flavor in their sundaes?
@GraceFVictory When is Ben & Jerry’s going to make a weed infused ice cream? #420life— 🌊Laura Elizabeth for President Bernie Sanders🌊 (@🌊Laura Elizabeth for President Bernie Sanders🌊)1555797333.0