Aiming to Right the Wrongs of the War on Drugs
Events throughout the U.S. for National Expungement Week, or N.E.W., will be taking place September 19th through 26th this year. We’re excited to be volunteering with companies like Cannasafe to help those negatively impacted by the War on Drugs.
According to a report from New Frontier Data, in Los Angeles County, Blacks are jailed for Marijuana Only offenses at disproportionately higher rates. Only 8% of Los Angeles County residents are Black, yet they make up 30% of people jailed for marijuana only offenses in the county. As a cannabis staffing company, we know how important it is to support this community based on the statistics alone. Over one third of employers have indicated that an arrest without conviction may still prevent them from making a hire, and that number jumps to 50% with conviction, and then up to 75% for a person of color.
What that means is that we have a large number of POC not only serving time for a plant that is now legal within the state, but with convictions that impact their entire family’s livelihood. While record expungement is literally life-changing for these individuals, that’s not the only service provided during National Expungement Week.
National Expungement Week is a series of grassroots events occurring in cities across the U.S. offering free legal relief to some of the 77 million Americans with a criminal record. It was started in 2018, with the idea of developing an awareness campaign around providing expungement relief and wrap-around services to communities affected by the War on Drugs. They advocate for automated expungement of all records, the de-escalation of police enforcement, and investment in marginalized communities.
National Expungement Week is now year-round, offering services such as advocacy, legal clinics, registering new voters, employment and educational resources. Wraparound services include housing and rent assistance, immigration advice, and health screenings. N.E.W. operates with the goal of providing resources that will empower communities of POC to “adapt, sustain, survive, and create in pursuit of equity”.
How to Help
There are many ways to help, especially now with services continuing throughout the year. One way is by organizing an event in your city. You can also donate your time by volunteering to help or offering your services. Sponsors and donors help support the local organizers and hard-cost of services needed for the community. If you are interested in find out more on how you can help, please visit nationalexpunementweek.org for more information.