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Marshawn Lynch Launches Apprenticeship Program For Former Pot Prisoners

How the NFL star is helping provide opportunities within the cannabis industry.

This story originally appeared on Benzinga

Dodi Blunts, the cannabis brand created by NFL star Marshawn Lynch, has teamed up with the Last Prisoner Project, a nonprofit dedicated to criminal justice reform for people with marijuana-related convictions, to launch a new apprenticeship program.

The Dodi Blunts/Last Prisoner Project Apprenticeship Program is designed to help justice-impacted individuals take their first step back into working society by offering mentoring, training and hands-on experience needed for a career in the cannabis industry.

The program, which lasts 90 days, starts in consultation with the apprentice. During this time, the apprentice will have their skills, experiences and interests evaluated to determine which area of focus makes the most sense for them.

RELATED: NFL Pledges to Fund $1 Million for Medical Marijuana Research

A double standard

The partnership between Dodi Blunts and the Last Prisoner Project seeks to highlight the double standard of the War on Drugs, which has left some 40,000 Americans — the vast majority people of color— to languish in the criminal justice system, all while the legal cannabis industry becomes more and more profitable.

Individuals with a prior marijuana conviction on their record have a harder time finding jobs upon release, and this apprenticeship program aims to right that wrong. The program’s first apprentice is Last Prisoner Project constituent Katree Saunders.

“Even when Last Prisoner Project’s constituents are released from prison, the damage lives on,” said Jeff Goldenberg, co-founder of 2nd and Goal Ventures, the company behind Dodi Blunts. “We’re focusing on the first stepping stone back into society and helping people when they’re at their most vulnerable and need the most help.”