PAX Labs Explores the ‘Human Toll’ of America’s War on Cannabis – Muse by Clio

Posted: March 21, 2021 at 5:23 pm

...and you can click here to watch Episode 1, "The War on Race," in its entirety.

"This piece is for all our citizens who are becoming more aware of the institutions and policies of our nation," Human Toll director cean Vashti Jude tells Muse. "We are living in a time where people are becoming more conscious. They want to pull back the veil, hear truths. This series will give it to them."

Experts discuss how the government, police and mass media used drug policy as a racial wedge, adopting the term "marijuana," as opposed to cannabis, "because it sounded foreign, it sounded scary, it sounded like something that bad people would use," John Hudak, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, says in the film.

Using such tactics, the establishment demonized cannabis users years before pot was banned in 1937. This set the stage for social unrest, tainting Mexican and African Americans, beatniks, hippies and others as intrinsically unsavory owing to their affinity for weed.

"When we get to the later war on drugs, we have this opportunity for the government to use as a substance as a cipher for an internal threat to American prosperity and democracy and social cohesion," Papillion says. This precipitated the incarceration of hundreds of thousands of drug offendersnotably Black and Hispanic menwho often served lengthy sentences for minor infractions and non-violent crimes, such as cannabis use and possession.

"I'm trying to have people connect with folks who are usually just statistics," Jude says. "A lot of people are in jail for something the general population uses. But if we shine a light on these issues and we introduce people who have experienced these unjust things, then we make it harder to turn a blind eye. When we know better, we do better."

Now, some viewers may find the presentation too breezy or one-sided. That's a fair criticism, but The Human Toll still ranks as effective advocacy journalism and timely branded content.

"This is not just something that happened in the rear view," says Laura Fogelman, senior director of communications and public affairs, PAX Labs. "There are more than 40,000 people incarcerated today for nonviolent, cannabis-related crimes, while our industry remains one of the fastest growing in America. It will take all of us coming together, demanding much-needed reforms, to see meaningful change."

The nextepisodes, "Collateral Consequences" and "Getting Out," launch on March 26.

The Human Toll and recent initiatives from Jay-Z's Monogram company and Problem and Wiz Khalifa, shine a light on persistent problems and spark hope for a more equitable future. PAX previously championed the cause in its Gold Clio Cannabis Award-winning film Dennis: The Man Who Legalized Cannabis.

CONDE NASTLloyd D'Souza - Head of Content DevelopmentNina Van Brunt - Creative DirectorJayne Roberts - Director of Unscripted DevelopmentJulia Ochsenreiter - Executive ProducerJulie Sullivan - Supervising ProducerAdam Peryer - Production ManagerThea Goddard - Associate ProducerTimothy Begley - Executive Director of SalesRobert Gearity - Executive Director of MarketingJessica Sisco - Director of Marketing

PAX LABSLaura Fogelman, Sr. Director, Communications & Public AffairsLauryn Livengood, Director, Brand MarketingMalia Madden, Communications SpecialistZoe Wilder, PR

CREWcean Vashti Jude - DirectorAndres Becerra - Director of Photography, PrincipalBrandy Bruce - Director of PhotographyGunsel Pehlivan - Director of PhotographyGiacobazzi Yanez - Director of PhotographyDominique Marro - Assistant Camera OperatorMiguel Zamora - Assistant Camera OperatorMatthew Barauskas - Assistant Camera OperatorMariya James - Covid Compliance OfficerVeronica Mammina - Covid Compliance OfficerKari Barber - Sound RecordistRussell Hamilton - EditorTyrone Rhabb - EditorBryce Aubrey - EditorDan Berlin - Assistant EditorJacqueline Nixon - GFX ArtistNicholas Lareau - ColoristMat Guido - Sound Mixer

FEATURING-Steve Hawkins, Executive Director, Marijuana Policy Project and Interim President & CEO, US Cannabis Coalition-Maj. Neill Franklin, Executive Director, Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP)-John Hudak, Senior Fellow & Deputy Director, Brookings Institution-Natalie Papillion, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Last Prisoner Project and Founder & Executive Director, The Equity Organization-Corvain Cooper, Constituent/Advisor, Last Prisoner Project & Brand Ambassador, 40Tons-Michael Thompson, Constituent, Last Prisoner Project-Evelyn LaChapelle, Program Associate, Last Prisoner Project, Heart of Cannabis Host, Vertosa, & Founder, Eighty Seven

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PAX Labs Explores the 'Human Toll' of America's War on Cannabis - Muse by Clio

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