CULTURE

WATCH: Jim Belushi Talks Cannabis with Seth Meyers

Jim Belushi Went to Colombia to Get Cannabis Seeds for Dan Aykroyd
Jim Belushi Went to Colombia to Get Cannabis Seeds for Dan Aykroyd / Late Night with Seth Meyers

On January 26, actor, singer, and cannabis entrepreneur Jim Belushi brought the cannabis conversation to national television, calling for the release of cannabis prisoners on Late Night with Seth Meyers

The late night talk show breaks down the nation's biggest news stories from a humorous perspective, and on this episode, Meyers invited Belushi to speak freely about the plant he knows and loves, and what still needs to happen within the legal industry.

Jim Belushi Advocates for Cannabis Record Expungement

The Mr. Destiny actor tapped into his rural roots to found Oregon-based Belushi Farm, where he digs into the literal weeds to provide the cannabis community with quality sun-grown product and cannabis education taught from an entertaining perspective – a.k.a., “edutainment.”

On Late Night, Belushi and Meyers discussed cannabis farming, the launch of the Discovery channel’s Growing Belushi season 2, and Belushi’s advocacy efforts for the industry. 

The actor discussed his partnership with The Last Prisoner Project, one of the most well-known nonprofits in the industry. The LPP bands together to fight criminal injustice and advocate for social equity and expungement throughout the industry – particularly for those who’ve been negatively affected by the country’s War on Drugs.

As the legal industry continues to expand throughout the nation, more brands and companies are popping up every day to get a piece of the pie. Meanwhile, people – mostly Black people – are continuing to be arrested for cannabis.

“[These prisoners] were the pioneers for the cannabis industry. They’re the ones that took the arrows, they’re the ones that went to jail for nonviolent cannabis crimes. Whether they had an ounce or three pounds on them, they were trying to make a living for their family,” Belushi said on the talk show.

“When they get thrown into prison, it collapses that family, creating more trauma. There are 40,000 men and women incarcerated right now for nonviolent cannabis crimes.”

Unfortunately, none of this is relevationary news for the industry. Advocates all over the nation have been lobbying for the release of these prisoners for years, yet very little has been done to right this tremendous decades-long wrong.

However – is it a step in the right direction for this conversation to be taking place on national television? We certainly think so.

As a whole, the industry is beginning to take the matters of equity and expungement into their own hands, forming organizations like LPP, raising funds, and hosting town halls and rallies to spread the word about what still needs to be done.

If policymakers are going to continue dragging their feet on this, then cultural influencers need to take a page from Belushi’s book and speak loudly and proudly about the causes they believe in, and the things that need to get done before the industry can progress as a whole.

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