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Creative in association withGear Seven
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Cannabis Amnesty Film Highlights Racial Inequality and Injustices in Cannabis Related Convictions

08/06/2022
Advertising Agency
Toronto, Canada
228
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Teaming up with Cossette and Magic Circle Workshop, ‘Legalise Us’ raises awareness on the burden of cannabis related criminal convictions on individuals

To raise awareness about the burden that cannabis-related criminal convictions have on both individuals and society-at-large, Cannabis Amnesty has partnered with Cossette and Magic Circle Workshop, to create ‘Legalize Us’.

The campaign is anchored by a 3:45 minute film that draws attention to the way that systemic racism in the enforcement of cannabis laws causes qualified and willing members of marginalised communities to be shut out of employment opportunities. These barriers to accessing economic activities have a negative impact on individuals, their families and their communities.

“An estimated 500,000 Canadians have criminal records for cannabis-related offences. To put this number into perspective, that is the entire population of Newfoundland and Labrador. The call to ‘Legalize Us’ represents the voices of the 500,000 individuals who are being left behind, locked out of opportunities, and cast aside by society,” said Annamaria Enenajor, executive director, Cannabis Amnesty. “We partnered with Cossette and Magic Circle Workshop to create this film because we believe passionately that art and advocacy can change public perception and, ultimately, our laws.”

“There’s a lack of empathy for those who live with convictions for cannabis-related offences. These are real people, with real families who live with the consequences of a conviction that many of us are admittedly guilty of. We thought if we could make people feel even a small percentage of the pain and frustration they feel, then maybe people would actually care enough to do something,” said Anthony Atkinson, executive creative director, Cossette.

Established in 2018, Cannabis Amnesty is an independent, not-for-profit advocacy organisation that focuses on righting the historical wrongs caused by decades of cannabis prohibition, particularly its impact on racialised and Indigenous communities who are overrepresented in cannabis arrests. ‘Legalize Us’ is their first campaign dedicated to raising awareness of the damaging effects that arrests and subsequent convictions can have on these communities. 

'Legalize Us' runs across organic social, with additional in-store signage at select dispensaries across the GTA, from June 6th. If you’d like to speak with Annamaria or Anthony about the campaign, please let me know. The full list of credits can be found below.

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