In 2012, Fred Harris watched legalization pass him by from a prison cell in Colorado. Despite being the first state to legalize recreational cannabis, the law didn't account for people like Fred, who were still serving cannabis-related sentences. That meant getting out of prison would be no easy feat -- even after his son, Arzelle Lewis, called in celebrities and NBA stars to help plead his dad's case.
This story is Part 5 of 8 in a series called Fair Shake, about what drug laws and the cannabis business can teach us about social equity in the U.S.
Part 1: A Laboratory for Fairness
Part 2: Black-owned
Part 3: Funny Business, Shenanigans and Chicanery
Part 4: Not Quite Legal
Written and reported by Ann Marie Awad
Additional Reporting: Allan Tellis, Rebekah Romberg
Lead producers: Luis Antonio Perez
Editor: Dennis Funk
Music: Daniel Mescher, Brad Turner
Executive producers: Brad Turner, Kevin Dale
Additional production: Jo Erickson
Illustrator: Jonell Joshua
Thanks also to Kim Nguyen, Jodi Gersh, Clara Shelton, Matt Herz, Martin Skavish, Rachel Estabrook, Francie Swidler.
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