Playboy introduced their cannabis legalization and reform campaign on Sept 24 alongside their line of CBD intimacy products. Together with the campaign, Playboy’s CEO Ben Kohn published an op-ed urging Congress to do the right thing and pass the historic MORE Act to federally deschedule cannabis, expunge the records of those with prior marijuana-related convictions and invest money into the communities most harmed by the War on Drugs.
The purpose of Playboy’s campaign is to push for the “legalization, decriminalization, and destigmatization of cannabis.” Playboy has partnered with The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), the Last Prisoner Project, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the Veterans Cannabis Project, and the Eaze Momentum Program. The campaign will focus on policy, people and culture.
Playboy’s Pro Pot History
The legendary adult-publisher has been fighting the good fight to end cannabis prohibition for decades. It all began in 1969 when a young lawyer named Keith Stroup wrote Hugh Hefner detailing his dream to start the country’s first pro-pot advocacy group in the heart of DC. The only problem was, Stroup needed funding. So, Playboy wrote him a check for $5,000. With that check, Stroup founded NORML in 1970, the largest and longest-standing cannabis advocacy organization in the US. That same year, Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act. The CSA declared cannabis a Schedule I drug alongside heroin, where it’s unjustly remained for the last 50 years.
In addition to calling for federal legalization, Playboy announced two $25,000 grants. One will support the Last Prisoner Project Prison to Prosperity reentry program that assists formerly incarcerated people with cannabis-related charges in employment and training in the legal cannabis industry. The other will support the EAZE Momentum Business Accelerator program, designed to support and empower underrepresented cannabis business owners.
The Fight for Fundamental Freedoms
“Since its inception, Playboy has fought for cultural progress rooted in the core values of equality, freedom of expression, and the idea that pleasure is a fundamental human right. For far too long, our nation’s policy toward cannabis has been backward and punitive, leading to decades of injustice in our legal system and to social stigma and shame,” CMO of Playboy Enterprises Rachel Webber said.
“As stewards of an iconic champion of progress, it is our duty to carry on the work Playboy began over five decades ago, by advocating for marijuana law reform and promoting the positive roles cannabis plays in people’s lives as a form of recreation, free expression, and health. We are proud to commit our platforms and resources to support this cause and we are grateful for the partnership and support of the organizations playing leading roles in advocating for legislative reform, social justice, and cultural destigmatization.”