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It's High Times for Justice, Liberation, Healing

$1,122.50 of $4,200

As the cannabis industry booms, many are benefiting from the legalization of cannabis. However, simultaneously millions of primarily Black Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC)  are incarcerated for cannabis-related activity and continue to be stonewalled from participating in the now multi-billion dollar legal cannabis industry in addition to facing barriers to reentry. 

“The War on Drugs has perpetuated this notion we should use drugs as a proxy for race to perpetuate racial discrimination.” - Eliana Green, Root & Rebound Attorney. 

Jamila is just one of many Root & Rebound clients impacted by the War on Drugs. In 2012, Jamila’s journey to become a CA Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist y (LMFT) was beginning, however, due to a $40 Marijuana conviction where she was only present for the sale, she was denied her license even after completing 3 years of criminal probation with the state. Even though Jamila completed her Master’s degree and fulfilled all the requirements for her license, California’s Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS) required her to do even more time through their own probationary system, preventing her dream from becoming reality and limiting her ability to provide for her family. 

“We don’t care that you’ve served your time with the state, you need to serve more time with us.” - Jamila Banks, Root & Rebound Client 

In 2020, with the support of Root & Rebound’s Attorney Eliana Green, who specializes in supporting clients impacted by the War On Drugs, Jamila was able to obtain her CA LMFT license. 

“Having the freedom to be able to build the life that my family deserves, and just being able to hold this license after all these things that I’ve had to endure… it’s just beautiful that I’m able to say that I am a licensed California marriage and family therapist.”

At Root & Rebound we are part of the movement to decriminalize cannabis and repair the harms done because of the War on Drugs, through our New Leaf Initiative. Our New Leaf Initiative includes direct services, policy advocacy - policies like AB2138 expands occupational licensing opportunities for people with convictions (Jamila was able to obtain her license because of AB2138) - and public education including our A New Leaf Toolkit, a helpful “how- to” guide for successful reentry after a cannabis conviction. We have partnered with Viola Cares to produce this incredible public education resource. 

We believe it’s crucial to shine a light on stories like Jamila’s that uplift the need for criminal justice reform. We invite you to join us in restoring power and resources to the communities most impacted by the War on Drugs. We've set a goal of raising $4,200 to continue supporting clients like Jamila. We invite you to join us in repairing the harms still being done by the War on Drugs. It’s high time for Justice, Liberation, and Healing. 

 

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Thank you for the great work you are doing, Root and Rebound!

Karen Meshkov

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