Legalize Appalachia is currently in a fundraising and research period to gather data, create space for community feedback, and expand our team of experts to best serve the financial and mental health needs of those most marginalized by the criminalization of cannabis. 

In April 2023, Legalize Appalachia launched the Prohibition Hurts pilot program to provide cash aid microgrants to low-income, BIPOC Appalachians who have been harmed by the criminalization of cannabis.

In June 2023, 7 microgrants were distributed, totaling $1,750 in grant awards. Three fourths of applicants said that mental health and financial security were the top two impacts of being criminalized for cannabis.

Want to know when Cash Aid applications reopen? Join the waitlist here. 

Want to learn more about our pilot program research? Come back to this page or subscribe to our email list for more insights as we complete our impact report, make plans to launch our Free Therapy pilot program, and work to open another round of microgrants in the coming months.



No-questions-asked microgrants, case-by-case grants

Financial access changes everything when folks are arrested for cannabis or anything.



Stipends for therapy, group meetings, therapeutic hotline

Mental health is often left out of the conversation around the experience of going to jail or simply living under prohibition.



  • 47 million - Southerners living under the weight of cannabis prohibition in the Central and Southern Appalachian states of AL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN and WV.₁  [SOURCE]

  • 669k - People arrested for cannabis possession and sales from 2015-2020 in the Appalachian states of AL, GA, KY, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA and WV.₂ [SOURCE]

  • 3.64x - Average rate at which Black people in the US are more likely to be arrested for cannabis possession than white people, despite comparable usage rates. In Kentucky and West Virginia, that number is 9.36 and 7.31 respectively, placing two of the top five worst states for racial disparities among marijuana arrests firmly in Appalachia.₃ [SOURCE]

  • $2,000-$20,000 - Average cost to defend a cannabis arrest. This is just attorney fees needed to get a pre-trial deal and doesn’t include trial costs, court fines, travel expenses, loss of work, childcare, mental health / therapy, or future fiscal, housing and employment impacts.₄ [SOURCE]