October 13, 2021

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Wershe launching cannabis brand with social justice focus

4 min read

Richard Wershe Jr. enters the cannabis industry with plans to promote social justice with his new business.

Wershe, a former FBI and Detroit Police Department informant known as “White Boy Rick,” famously spent more than three decades behind bars on a nonviolent drug offense after being convicted in Wayne County Circuit Court in 1988. Wershe, 52, reportedly serving the longest sentence he began as a teenager for a non-violent drug offense. After 32 years and seven months, he was released from prison last year.

Rick Wershe smells like marijuana in the Pleasantrees flower room in Harrison Township on Wednesday September 1, 2021.  Wershe works with the company and introduces its own product brand.

Wershe is now partnering with cannabis company Pleasantrees to launch its own brand of product called “The 8th,” a reference to the 8th Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits cruel and unusual punishments on defendants.

Wershe’s cannabis brand, which includes cannabis plants, t-shirts, concentrates, and other products, is expected to launch this fall. The black t-shirts will feature two broken handcuffs and the words “White Boy Rick” on the front.

This is because Eminem Wershe is slated to portray 50 Cent in an upcoming Starz television series by rapper. Wershe’s life has also been the focus of books, films, and a Hollywood film starring Matthew McConaughey.

From left, Evan Williams, Jerome Crawford, Director of Legal Operations and Social Equity for cannabis company Pleasantrees, and Rick Wershe in the drying room of the company's Harrison Township facility on Wednesday, September 1, 2021.

Wershe says he hopes to raise awareness of the harshness of the penalties for nonviolent drug offenses and to use a significant portion of his proceeds to help people wrongly convicted and imprisoned for nonviolent drug offenses.

“It’s about being overpunished,” said Wershe. “How is it that a non-violent offender is punished more severely than a violent offender?

He said he chose to partner with Pleasantrees because he liked the company’s social justice and social justice program. The company provides jobs to those recently released from prison for wrongly convictions or excessive sentences.

Rick Wershe aka

“Mr Wershe was recently released from prison after serving over 32 years for non-violent drug offenses allegedly committed as a minor – a prime example of the inappropriately harsh sentences imposed on victims of the decades-long war on drugs, which was started by the Nixon administration and escalated further in the Reagan era, “Pleasantrees representatives said in a statement accompanying the announcement of the partnership.

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