A coalition of more than 20 organizations is in the midst of National Expungement Week, sponsoring events in cities across the country to help the 77 million Americans with past criminal convictions clear their records. Those attending the events will receive legal help with expunging, sealing, or reducing criminal convictions. National Expungement Week events are being held October 20 through 27 in cities including Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.
As cannabis is legalized in more jurisdictions across the United States, many past offenders are burdened with criminal convictions for activities that are no longer against the law. Adam Vine of Cage Free Cannabis and the Equity First Alliance told High Times via email how convictions for even low-level offenses such as possession and sales of small quantities of marijuana can result in lifetime consequences.
“A criminal record can restrict access to employment, housing, education, voting rights, and social services,” Vine said. “These collateral consequences prevent people from fully re-entering their communities after incarceration, which is why expungement is both necessary and urgent.”
Vine also noted that assistance with other social services will be available at National Expungement Week clinics.
“In addition to legal services, these events are