Ben & Jerry’s shares 4/20 message about racial injustice and weed
The ice cream entrepreneurs continue to support social justice
April 20, hashtagged as #420, is widely known as an annual celebration for cannabis enthusiasts. Ice cream manufacturing company, Ben and Jerry’s, joined the celebration by advocating for prison reform.
Ben and Jerry’s founders, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, have long used their popular ice cream brand to advocate for various causes.
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The company took to Instagram to drop some facts.
There is a link encouraging their audience to sign up and to get Congress to support the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act.
The 30-second-long animated video says that Black users are treated differently when it comes to marijuana in comparison to whites.
The video says “Ever notice how most people making money from legalized cannabis are white? But a disproportionate number of people getting arrested for using cannabis are Black? THAT’S NOT COOL. This 4/20 let’s celebrate by expunging cannabis convictions and making sure legalization doesn’t leave people of color behind. Tell Congress to pass the MORE Act s.2227. Take Action.”
But that’s not all. On the next post, a white hand is passing a joint to a Black hand with cuffs on it. In the background there is a cloud with words that say, “Black people are 264% MORE likely than white people to be arrested for cannabis possession, even though they use at similar rates.”
The caption for the post states “Cannabis is legal in 33 states, but hundreds of thousands of people are still arrested for possession every year – a disproportionate number of them Black. This #420 get the facts then join us and @ACLU to take action to pass the more act.”
Ben and Jerry’s is teaming up with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to get people to support the More Act bill. According to the ACLU, “This bill would not only remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act but would also expunge marijuana convictions and re-sentence people with marijuana convictions, among other positive reforms.”
When it comes to advocating for social justice, this is not B&J’s first time. In 2016, the popular ice cream brand posted support for Black Lives Matter on their official website.
That year, they also released the “Empower-MINT” flavor to raise awareness for voter suppression. They even temporarily changed the name of their cookie dough flavor to “I Dough, I Dough” in support of marriage equality.
In 2018, they released the “Pecan Resist” flavor. This pint is packed with chocolate ice cream with white & dark fudge chunks, pecans, walnuts & fudge-covered almonds.
According to Ben and Jerry’s, this flavor comes with a message that states, “We can peacefully resist the Trump administration’s regressive and discriminatory policies and build a future that values inclusivity, equality, and justice for people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, refugees, and immigrants.”
READ MORE: Black people occupy only 3.2% of top exec positions in corporate world
Last year, the brand created a flavor called “Justice Remix’d” to highlight criminal justice reform. The flavor has cinnamon & chocolate ice creams with gobs of cinnamon bun dough & spicy fudge brownies in it. Assuming the flavors are used to represent people of color, like the “Pecan Resist” flavor, Ben and Jerry’s is raising awareness of the racism people of color face daily.
According to the company’s mission statement, “Ben & Jerry’s is founded on & dedicated to a sustainable corporate concept of linked prosperity. Our mission consists of 3 interrelated parts: Economic Mission, Social Mission, and Product Mission.”