Black And Brown Cannabis Guild Hosted National Expungement Week 2020 With Drive Thru Clinic On Expungements – Forbes
The Black and Brown Cannabis Guild (BBCG) hosted National Expungement Week (NEW) 2020 in Grand Rapids with a drive-thru clinic event anticipating Michigan’s legislative approval for automatic expungements 2023.
Under the automatic expungement bill, Michigan would automatically expunge criminal records under “clean slate” bills that received final legislative approval, later this week. One enacted the automated bill would allow eligibility cannabis offenders expungement seven years after their misdemeanor sentence and ten years for felonies. It’s also noted convictions will start in January for some based on plausibility following Michigan’s legalization in 2018. As a result, organizations like BBCG have been advocating through education to reverse the effects of corruption in Black and Brown communities.
BBCG, founded August of 2019, by Activist Denavvia Mojet and Entrepreneur Ariana Waller, responds to the lack of representation within the cannabis realm and the War on Drug’s crimpling effects within BIPOC communities. Even in its early stages, BBCG has successfully created a board of entrepreneurs and industry experts to educate and information at the largest expungement resource fair across Michigan. The purpose of yesterday’s drive-thru event, cohosted with Fluresh Cannabis Provisioning Center, provided legal advice to people on expungements.
“Expungement is an important point of discussion for us since now, marijuana is legal in most states. But once we got into the work, we realized so many more people were eligible for Expungement that didn’t know how to navigate the system,” said Mojet in an article with wzzm13.com.
The partnership between BBCG and NEW came about once Mojet discovered the organization and decided to host Michigan’s event.
The NEW campaign similarly, created by LaTorie Marshall (We BAKED) and Adam Vine (Cage-Free Repair), helps expungements and additional services to communities affected by criminality. To date, NEW has expanded throughout multiple US cities to over 40 events, offering advocacy, legal clinics, voter registration, and additional services. The alignment of NEW and BBCG in the Michigan area will hopefully promote more residents to act since most are not currently taking advantage of the current bill’s expungement opportunities.
It’s estimated, in a study by the University of Michigan law school, only 6.5% of eligible offenders are utilizing the bill toward expungements based on application rates reported by the Lansing State Journal. In response, a $20,000 grant from the Michigan State Bar Foundation has hosted free clinics to educate towards spreading awareness of the process in an article with wwzzm13.com. Similarly, multiple lawyers and law students have been volunteering time towards explaining expungements to potentially affected individuals.
Steps towards reducing criminality it the first step in change, but organizations like BBCG and NEW also show that’s when the real work starts with educating the community. The positive effect of expungement means new opportunities for employment, student aid, and housing. The same study found an average wage increase of 25% within two years of an expunged record.
Clinton County Judge Michelle Rick said the bureaucracy can be daunting but that clearing felony convictions can be “life-changing.”
This article originally appeared here in https://www.forbes.com/sites/nikkifrias/2020/09/27/black-and-brown-cannabis-guild-hosted-national-expungement-week-2020-with-drive-thru-clinic-on-expungements/