Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch’s cannabis company Dodi Blunts is partnering with the Last Prisoner Project on an apprenticeship program for justice-impacted individuals. The three-month program will offer participants hands-on training for a potential career in the marijuana industry. This is the first collaborative effort between both Dodi and the Last Prisoner Project since the company’s launch last year, and since Lynch signed on to become a Last Prisoner Project ambassador. “For 90 days, the apprentice will work with Dodi Blunts, gaining valuable experience and industry connections needed for a flourishing career in cannabis.”
The Managing Director of Last Prisoner Project, Mary Bailey, said it is “so important that these justice-impacted individuals are given a path forward” and that Dodi “stepped up to the plate in a way that we at Last Prisoner Project are so appreciative of and hope other cannabis companies will follow suit.” Katree Saunders, the program’s first apprentice, said she is “excited and thankful” to be the program’s first constituent. Saunders was convicted on federal charges of possession and intent to distribute marijuana in 2011.
“This opportunity with Marshawn and the Dodi brand means a lot to me after being a justice-impacted individual,” said Saunders. “Having recently graduated from Columbia Business School for Entrepreneurship and being accepted to the apprenticeship program, I feel like I can be a shining example of what is possible after being affected by the collateral damage of this failed War on Drugs.” She continued, “It’s the chance to be resilient while making a positive impact on the community. Just because you have been formerly incarcerated, doesn’t mean you have no goals or dreams you would like to accomplish. It has given me inspiration.”
This is a great step in the right direction as far as marijuana reform goes. Too many people have been affected by the collateral damage of the War on Drugs, it’s great that athletes such as Marshawn Lynch are trying to help combat and reverse the effects of the War on Drugs as cannabis legalization becomes more prevalent. In a somewhat related move, NBA player Kevin Durant recently partnered with Weedmaps in an effort to destigmatize cannabis usage among athletes through a series of podcasts and video posts. Cannabis usage among athletes is a long-contended topic and the moves from both Durant and Lynch are two sides of the same coin: on one side, Durant is working on destigmatization and on the other, Lynch is working on reform and social equity.