The Marijuana Conviction Expungement Report Card Gets Released
The effect of a criminal record is very damning to the lives of many as many find it hard to be accepted into society. This is why the National Expungement Works (N.E.W) has been tasked with the responsibility of improving social justice across the country. The body does this by making efforts to correct the ills of the justice system on corrected criminals through free legal services for people with prior criminal records.
The body has made giant strides at the grassroots level and it has recently released its inaugural Impact Record for 2021. Read on as we look into the contents of this report and what it might mean for people with criminal records on possession of cannabis and other related offenses.
Impact of criminal records
It is very possible to sit back and believe that since some persons have committed offenses against instituted laws they should be remanded in correctional facilities. However, it seems that society and its laws never truly accept that these persons are corrected. So there are multiple barriers limiting their full integration into society. Alicia Brown, the Director of Development & Benevolent Partnerships in the N.E.W stated that criminal records force many black and brown Americans to face racial discrimination.
With over 70 million people falling in the category of those that have prior criminal records, they form a large bank of the populace and workforce of the country. There exist over 48,000 barriers that keep such persons from housing, voting, education, employment, and other opportunities. Such impacts are what the N.E.W seeks to end by giving yearly programming which includes advocacy, legal relief, and wraparound services.
Highlight of 2021 report
With 2021 being a challenging year in many respects, the N.E.W was able to make giant strides of impact. Here are the major highlights of the report given by the body with respect to its actions all through the year.
Generation of over $700million in public benefit which includes a reduction in public spending, increase in wages, and other benefits across the next two years
Support of various policy efforts that resorted in over 65,000 Americans having expunged and sealed records.
Holding dozens of events in different regions of the country for wraparound services such as food and produce giveaways, health screenings, employment workshops, and legal relief.
Support of George Gascón, District Attorney of the Los Angeles Count in identifying about 66,000 convictions of cannabis-related offenses. This is aimed at reversing the injustices of the drug laws.
Held different support programs such as its annual Week of Action & Awareness (WOAA) which featured 21 events both online and onsite in 10 cities with over 1,500 attendees.
Creation of the N.E.W Fellowship Program in conjunction with other non-profit organizations to give platforms for information and eligibility sessions for over 1,300 persons across 19 cities in the country.
Purpose of the National Expungement Works
LaTorie Marshall, founder of the N.E.W explained the goal-oriented purpose of the N.E.W. which facilitated the actions taken in 2021. He stated that the actions taken in 2021 were in line with the mission of the body which is why they sought partnership with organizers with the same mandate. He also states that beyond the heights that were reached in 2021, the year 2022 will see the N.E.W. start a 5-year wealth plan. This plan has to do with its fellowship program as it hopes to affect all communities which according to Marshall will make them a better place for integration of previous offenders.
Over 65,000 persons have been beneficiaries since the expungement process. Wrap-around services like job support, health screenings, food security, and housing have directly helped over 7,000 persons. 950 persons have also had their fines reduced or cleared. This means good news for persons who have been on the wrong side of the law in times past due to cannabis-related offenses. A number of top cannabis businesses and large firms are on board with the activities of the N.E.W. towards ensuring that such persons have access to deserved opportunities. The Biden administration in the US has promised marijuana expungement while campaigning for office, but has yet to follow through on that promise to the American people.
Canopy Growth Corporation and N.E.W
The N.E.W is for all offenders but it has a special place with persons with cannabis-related offenses. This is easily seen in its successful partnership with Canopy Growth Corporation, a leading sponsor of the organization since it began its move. The cannabis industry benefits largely from the actions of the N.E.W. as many offenses people were locked up for have now been legalized. Hilary Black, Chief Advocacy Office at Canopy Growth Corporation explains that cannabis companies should be committed to giving equity for social impact. He states that Canopy Growth seeks to do this by partnering with a community organization.
Canopy Growth remains committed to alleviating the difficulties faced by equity-deserving communities particularly those caused by the criminal justice system. Hilary believes that wrap-around services such as N.E.W.’s Brake Light Clinics are pivotal to counter the barriers faced by justice-impacted communities. Canopy Growth is top cannabis and cannabinoid-based product company. The organization is committed to releasing the potentials of the natural herb, ending prohibition, and strengthening communities. It offers a wide range of products which include oil, dried flower, softgel capsule, infused beverages, topicals, and edibles.
About Canopy Growth Corporation
The National Expungement Works constitutes 632 volunteers and different organizations that are committed to providing social equity to justice-impacted persons and communities. Many of the persons being helped by the N.E.W. have been severely affected by systemic inequities and injustices brought on by moves such as the War on Drugs. While this war has not been won, stereotyping and other ills associated with cannabis are slowly being eradicated.
The N.E.W. is open to new persons as the body looks towards healing persons and communities. For more information about what the body entails, visit newxnow.org. You can also follow N.E.W. on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. You could well be on your way to helping the next person in your society have access to a better life.
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