It was hippies and hip-hop at the Free the 40,000 fundraiser for Last Prisoner Project (LPP), hosted on August 23, at the world-famous Whisky-a-Go-Go on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, California. 

The funky evening featured live performances from Mike Clip Payne’s 420 Funk Mob, featuring Parliament-Funkadelic members Mike Clip Payne, Lige Curry, Mike Kidd Funkadelic Hampton, Danny Bedrosian, Gregg. Thomas, Joey Eppard (DRUGS, 3) and Darian Cunning (420 Funk Mob, Bomb Squad), as well as the Blues Champions featuring “Bluesetta” aka Lynnette Shaw, BplusThaKing/Black Pilgrim, DJ Majic Juan and other special guests.

Produced by and cannabis buyers club Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, the show was a funky mix of entertainment, celebrating cannabis law reform and calling for the release of approximately 40,000 individuals currently imprisoned for marijuana offenses who continue to serve time, even as decriminalization expands across the U.S. The Los Angeles show was part of a series of fundraisers featuring 420 Funk Mob and Blues Champions, to benefit LPP.

Last Prisoner ProjectLongtime cannabis advocate and Marin Alliance founder Lynnette “Bluesetta” Shaw, who co-produced the night’s festivities, took a turn onstage with the Blues Champions, who played original selections from Shaw’s album “For Pot Peace.” 

“I love pot and I love Last Prisoner Project. I had 31 pen pals—pot lifers—and I wrote just to give them hope and let them know they weren’t forgotten.” – DeeDee “The Pot Fairy” Kirkwood

Activist DeeDee “The Pot Fairy” Kirkwood spoke to the audience about her years-long work corresponding with 50 prisoners currently serving life sentences for cannabis offenses. Her advocacy project 31 Aprons for 31 Pot Lifers also raised donations and sold handmade crafts to put funds on the books of cannabis prisoners, who then used funds to purchase personal items in prison commissaries. Kirkwood was accompanied at Tuesday night’s event by Sespe Creek dispensary CEO and LPP supporter Chelsea Sutula. Correspondence between Kirkwood and the prisoners is on display at the dispensary’s Pot Lifer’s Museum. 

“I love pot and I love Last Prisoner Project,” Kirkwood said. Describing her efforts, she added, “I had 31 pen pals—pot lifers—and I wrote just to give them hope and let them know they weren’t forgotten.”

“We won’t stop until they’re all free,” Kirkwood concluded.

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