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For 4/20, Ben & Jerry's is encouraging marijuana usage for a cause – and free ice cream

Dalvin Brown
For 4/20, Ben & Jerry's is encouraging marijuana usage for a cause – and free ice cream

On 4/20, the day of the year that unofficially celebrates cannabis culture, Ben & Jerry's is giving away free ice cream to people who buy pot.

Yes —the Burlington, Vermont-based premium ice cream maker is encouraging its consumers to use marijuana, which is still illegal in 17 states.

Before you go line up, the deal on its Half Baked ice cream is only available in California, which was one of the first states to legalize the medical use of the plant in the '90s.

If you didn't know, the Half Baked flavor is a mix of chocolate and vanilla ice cream infused with pieces of chocolate chip cookie dough and fudge brownies.

The weed dispensary Caliva and Ben & Jerry's join forces to support criminal justice reform through ice cream.

The ice cream giant teamed up with Caliva, a San Jose-based cannabis dispensary, to offer a free pint to people who place orders with the weed company on Friday and Saturday. 

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It's all in the name of criminal justice, according to the ice cream company.

The partnership is to raise awareness about inequalities between the people who use pot and those who get incarcerated for doing so. 

"In states where pot is legal, and even though Black people and white people use pot at similar rates, Black people are still arrested way more often than whites," Ben & Jerry's says on its website.

"The country as a whole has shifted its perspective on legalization over the years, with 60% of the public now in favor. What’s troubling is that the criminal justice system hasn’t kept up with the culture."

As more states move toward legalizing marijuana, it's unclear whether Ben & Jerry's will extend the unofficial holiday offering beyond California in the future.

The frozen yogurt maker wants people to sign a petition on its website to get Congress to expunge prior marijuana convictions. The campaign currently has over 19,000 signatures.

Caliva is donating 4.20% of the total "National Weed Day" sales to the non-profit Code for America's Clear My Record Program, an opt-in service for people seeking to clear pot possession related convictions. 

"Knowing that Caliva is challenging the status quo of bogarting human rights of non-violent offenders –and providing these communities a second chance— is exactly the 420 effort we want to support," said Ben & Jerry's marketing manager Justin Gural in a statement.

"We want to have some fun with fans on the holiday with the delivery surprises, and supporting Clear My Record is no doubt the cherry on top," he said.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: For 4/20, Ben & Jerry's is encouraging marijuana usage for a cause – and free ice cream