As December rolls around, many of us look forward to enjoying the holiday festivities with our loved ones. Unfortunately, this is not the case for all our brothers and sisters in cannabis, especially those whose parents are incarcerated for non-violent cannabis offenses. In response, legacy cannabis brand 40 Tons brought the holiday cheer with their inaugural Canna Christmas event in Downtown Los Angeles on December 3.
During the Canna Christmas drive event STIIIZY came together with other cannabis powerhouse brands to sponsor five families for the holiday season. Additionally, we were able to donate gifts and provide monetary donations. The gifts received ranged from toys to clothing items, school supplies, and even grocery store gift cards.
For 40 Tons founders, Anthony and Loriel Alegrete, and Corvain Cooper, the pain of being apart from family for the holidays is deeply personal.
Cooper was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole at the age of 34 for a non-violent cannabis offense that occurred in the early 2000s. He served nearly eight years of his sentence before being granted clemency by former President Trump on his last day in office.
Cooper's family received a similar helping hand during the holidays while he was incarcerated. The late Mickey Martin was the founder of Parents for Pot - an organization that also helped bring presents to the kids of parents who were incarcerated for nonviolent cannabis-related offenses. Cooper remembers Martin fondly stating, “Mickey Martin never forgot about us. Every year he got my kids Christmas presents and made it feel special for them even though their daddy was serving a life sentence.” Cooper added, “I love Mickey Martin for what he did for me and it’s a blessing I am free today. I feel it is my duty to pay it forward in his name.”
Anthony Alegrete also served time in prison for a non-violent cannabis offense. This left his wife Loriel Alegrete alone with their three children. Loriel shares her experience stating, “It was tough when my husband was in prison. I didn’t have help and during the holidays I had to sometimes look our children in the eyes and say we can’t celebrate like we normally do when Daddy is home. Because of that feeling, I wanted to help other women that are in my shoes currently.”
40 Tons is committed to giving back to the community that stood by them during those trying times. Anthony Alegrete looks back at his family's struggles stating, "I was grateful when people would help us out. It meant the world to me. Canna Christmas is 40 Tons’ way of giving back to those affected by Cannabis Criminalization.”
40 Tons has also partnered with Freedom Grow, a nonprofit dedicated to helping serve families of those incarcerated for cannabis offenses, including a Shryne Group employee and her family.If you missed this year’s Canna Christmas you can still help make a difference with 40 Tons all year round by visiting their website: www.40ton.com