Nonprofit forms to support marijuana felons

Redemption Cannabis launches foundation to right wrongs of pot prohibition

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THURSDAY, Aug. 6 — A marijuana entrepreneur who was locked up for pot is using his now legal business to give back to others who have been harmed by cannabis prohibition.

Ryan Basore, CEO of Redemption Cannabis, announced today the creation of the Redemption Foundation — a nonprofit designed to right the wrongs caused by years of weed being illegal. The goal: Lift up those harmed by the war on cannabis by providing financial and legal support to federal cannabis prisoners and work to get nonviolent pot prisoners out from behind bars.

“Michigan’s industry was founded on the backs of caregivers and others who have been thrown in jail for growing in a plant that is proven to help people with serious medical conditions. I should know because I was one of them,” Basore said in a press release sent out earlier today.

Basore, who with six others were known as the Okemos 7, was sentenced to federal prison in 2009 for charges related to serving as a caregiver. He launched Redemption Cannabis earlier this year with the promise of dedicating 10% of revenue toward curing cannabis injustices.

The foundation will fund lobbying for changes in the criminal justice system, providing free expungement programs and supporting legalized re-entry programs into the cannabis industry.

“Michigan has led the Midwest when it comes to cannabis reform, but there is still more that needs to be done to undo the damage that decades of prohibition has caused,” Basore added.

Among those tasked with steering the Redemption Foundation toward curing injustice is a collection of cannabis and policy experts who have agreed to join a new advisory board. They include Lansing City Councilman Brandon Betz, Michigan Cannabis Industry Association Director Robin Schneider, attorney and musician Bob Baldori and several other notable names.

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