“Take those scarlet letters off [their] criminal records that [they] carry with them,” states Eunisses Hernandez, policy coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance. He also states there are “tens of thousands” (1,000,000 actually), who are eligible in California and 200,000 in Los Angeles alone, who may have their past marijuana convictions – expunged! This blog is a community announcement today; a heads-up bulletin announcing the fact with the passage of Prop.64 – recreational pot usage, also comes some more good news for marijuana affecionados – Expunge Clinics are coming.
That’s right, a bail company is assisting with this news update, since most attention has been focused on the legal (bail) parameters of recreational pot sales and growing weed, Acme announces another silver lining buried in this Prop 64 that most are uniformed and unaware. According to Vice News.com, “the state fully adopted one of the most sweeping criminal justice reforms in recent years, yet few are aware.” This means, according to DA Rayshon Williams statistics, over 1,000,000 in California can have their felonies removed allowing persons to vote, get loans, and jobs.
According to Rayshon, “The whole time, they’re not gonna hire you because they see that ‘F’ on your record.” He says, “F” (felony) + Black = 0, restating the facts blacks are arrested 5 to 1 over whites.
Bruce Margolin, the founder of NORML (National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws) and a staunch advocate of this reform movement for 50 years, states he has only represented 50 individuals whose records were cleared. Not many compared to the 200,000 potential candidates from Los Angeles alone.
For many who have had this stigma and curse attached to their names for so long, a new breath of fresh air has arrived, and maybe their lives can go forward without having to look over their shoulders. One person sites this, “I just don’t like the feeling thinking I’m different than who I really am at this point in my life.” For those wanting to expunge or reduce their convictions, there are numerous sites on the internet providing free legal clinics to achieve this goal. www.prop64clinic.org is a good source.
By Sharla Esparza