EXPUNGEMENT

Countless Americans have cannabis-related convictions on their criminal records that make it difficult to get jobs, housing, and education. Thousands more are still behind bars. Now that the federal government is addressing cannabis reform, it’s important to make sure people are no longer punished for something that should be legal, and already is, in much of the country.

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Just click the email or phone option and get started. There’s never been a better time to make some noise about cannabis legalization! Add your own words to make it personal.

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LET’S BREAK IT DOWN

Expungement is when a past offense is completely wiped from a person’s record. As far as the law is concerned, it’s as if the arrest, the trial, and the conviction never happened. They can even answer NO if asked about their criminal history on a job application. Expungement is a crucial part of helping people get back on their feet, but how expungement policies are designed can have a huge impact on how effective they are.

  • Simplicity matters. Automatic expungement is when the government clears eligible people’s records without them having to do anything. This is key because, as of now, most expungement policies require people to go through a complicated petition process that can require paying a lawyer or other fees. More barriers mean fewer people get their records cleared.
  • Congress can expunge federal cannabis convictions, but most cannabis convictions happen at the state-level where Congress isn’t able to expunge them. What Congress can do is offer grants or other incentives to states that implement effective expungement policies.
  • Expungement doesn’t apply to people who are currently incarcerated. The way things are now, people who are in federal prison must be pardoned by the President in order to be released and have their records cleared. However, Congress can allow federal cannabis prisoners to petition for resentencing, which could get them released ASAP and make them eligible for expungement.
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CANNABIS ISSUES

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BANKING

Most banks can’t work with cannabis businesses even though they are legal at the state level. This forces a multi-billion dollar industry to rely almost entirely on cash, which creates all sorts of problems.

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SOCIAL EQUITY

Black Americans are nearly 4x more likely than white Americans to be arrested for cannabis offenses, yet only 2% of cannabis businesses are Black-owned. Social equity programs aim to address problems like this so the legal cannabis industry can create opportunities for everyone.

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SUSTAINABILITY

Cannabis cultivation can use a whole lot of energy. Federal legalization has the potential to create a more environmentally-friendly cannabis industry.

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CANNABIS IN COMMON

Head to the Cannabis In Common homepage to find out where out where your senators stand on legalization and take action!

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