An underreported part of marijuana advocacy is the need to de-stigmatize and assist those who have suffered the brunt of draconian marijuana laws. Our good friend Weldon Angelos is a hero in this area, and we’re pleased to report that he’s finally received the recognition he deserves.
Weldon is going into an exclusive partnership with Verano Holdings Corp. this year. The company will raise funds for Weldon’s clemency initiative – Mission Green – a project to reduce the legal burdens on individuals who get slapped with heavy prison sentences and fines for minor marijuana-related crimes.
It’s massive news for Weldon and marijuana advocacy in general. His project has gone national, and this issue will finally receive the attention it deserves. We’d like to extend a round of applause to him. Weldon, you’ve done the movement proud!
Mission Green’s Origins Story
Weldon decided to start the initiative in 2016 after 13 years of a prison sentence he received back in 2003. What was his crime, you may ask? Selling less than $1000 worth of weed.
Deeply affected by the experience and grateful for being pardoned, Weldon decided to pay it forward by helping others in similar positions. Weldon didn’t want his 13 years in prison to be a waste, and Mission Green is now a full-time project for him. Since his release, he’s been assisting individuals with no other way out than through the prison system to find pathways to clemency. Weldon is clearing the names of those involved in these petty offenses at the local, state, and federal levels. In the process, he’s spread the word of marijuana advocacy beyond his neighborhood.
Along with expungement, Mission Green will also help to provide victims of overweening marijuana laws with legal assistance and fund re-integration programs. These services support formerly imprisoned individuals to live the most healthy lives possible.
Verano’s Donation and Pledge of Support
Verano has made an initial $50,000 donation to Weldon’s project, and the company will also be raising awareness around clemency at its almost 100 dispensaries. Customers at these retail stores will be able to donate to the initiative, and the stores will also serve as an educative platform for visitors interested in the topic of clemency for marijuana-related offenses.
But that’s just the beginning. The Verano flagship stores and several other locations will match donations up to $13,000 every first Friday of the month.
What Weldon Had to Say
To say Weldon is encouraged by this partnership is an understatement. He’s more dedicated and galvanized than ever to serve those left out in the cold by marijuana laws that don’t serve the American public.
The partnership with Verano, he says, will help to transform an oppressive system and address countless untold stories about injustice toward whole communities with no legal recourse. He expressed how Verano’s and Mission Green’s values are strongly aligned. For him, this isn’t only a tool for tackling unfairness in the justice system; it’s also a way of bringing the broader public on board and creating awareness about the excessive damage done to some communities by the so-called “War on Drugs.”
In short, the project is about creating unity and understanding among the American people that can transcend poorly-structured laws by shining a light on their social impacts.
Weldon also wants to see reform happen on the Federal level, and Verano has pledged its commitment to helping him achieve it.
The White House Takes Note
Mission Green has also enjoyed an audience with senior White House officials to create a pathway to banking reform for cannabis retailers and legalization on the federal level. This includes addressing acts like SAFE and MORE.
Currently, Weldon and Verano are encouraging marijuana advocates to sign Weldon’s petition for clemency on change.org, including an open letter to President Biden, co-signed by a host of notable figures from celebrities to academics.
Weldon, you’ve certainly achieved a lot, and we’re proud to know you. It certainly seems that the sky is the limit! Go get ‘em!
Enjoyed that first hit? Come chill with us every week at the Friday Sesh for a freshly packed bowl of the week’s best cannabis news!