Oakland CA native Evelyn LaChapelle is an experienced events coordinator and community liaison, who is now utilizing her professional position within the legal cannabis industry to advocate for restorative justice. She is a program associate at Last Prisoner Project, dedicated to redressing the past and continuing harms caused by the war on cannabis.
In 2003, Evelyn moved from Oakland to Los Angeles for college. She completed BA in business administration with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship from Loyola Marymount University. In 2013, she was convicted on three charges related to her minor role in a marijuana distribution operation. She was sentenced to 87 months in prison. She had no prior record and in fact had no indicators that she was a repeat offender.
On February 1, 2019, she was released from federal custody and began her 4 year probation sentence. She immediately found employment in a prominent hotel as a sales and catering coordinator. She had held this position prior to being taken into custody and was very grateful to return to the work she enjoyed. After a co-worker searched her name and found her convictions she was fired. Since then, she is dedicated to offering support to people who have recently been incarcerated. She understands what it’s like to serve your time and still come home to an environment that would deny you employment because of your past.
Evelyn has overcome these challenges and has found success in the legal cannabis industry through her work at Oakland based infusion technology company Vertosa, where she is the host of an IGTV segment “The Heart of Cannabis.” In addition, Evelyn is building her own luxury cannabis essential brand, Eighty Seven, representing the 87 months she was sentenced to prison. Her mission is to build a platform for the formerly incarcerated to find their path into this industry.
“My Playlist is inspired by songs that motivate living in my truth and purpose,” shares Evelyn. “When I consume cannabis I feel the most at ease with myself and my journey through this one life I have to live.”
1. Beyoncé – Grown Woman
“Grown Woman” gives me permission to be free. Freedom is far beyond prison walls. Freedom is giving myself the permission to do what’s best and what feels good for me.
2. Erykah Badu – Clever
“Clever” is about my imperfections and how they really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. The song repeats “I’m alright with me.” I’ve grown because I’ve learned how to be alright with myself. This entire album was a vibe for me during college.
3. Erykah Badu – On & On
“On & On” is me in song form. The second verse starts with “I’m a pisces” and then she describes me better that I ever could.
4. Saweetie – Back to the Streets (feat. Jhené Aiko)
This is my coming out song, prison and quarantine sat me down for a while. Now, I’m back to the streets and ready to light up the entire cannabis industry.
5. Big Sean – Bounce Back
“Bounce Back” was my prison theme song. We had MP3 players in prison and this song was on repeat while I ran my 3 miles a day on the track at the Arizona Prison Camp. During my entire 87 month sentence, I was contemplating my bounce back.