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What is National Expungement Week?

As a California resident, you’re likely aware of the complex laws surrounding marijuana. Cannabis wasn’t legalized for recreational use in California until 2016, so there are many users who may still have criminal convictions for marijuana possession on their record, even though it’s no longer a crime today. In fact, there are tens of thousands of people currently jailed for marijuana-related convictions received prior to 2016. This hypocrisy and inconsistency surrounding marijuana possession is what has inspired National Expungement Week, a nationwide activism event that aims to bring awareness to this issue and aid those convicted in having their criminal record cleared.

In the legal system, the term “expungement” means having the record of a prior criminal conviction sealed from state and federal records. Essentially, the court is ordered to treat the conviction as if it never occurred, removing it from the defendant’s record. Having a marijuana-related conviction expunged from one’s record is extremely beneficial, as it gives that person less challenges in finding a house, a loan, a job, or anything else for which a background check may be required. 

Founded in 2018, National Expungement Week started as a grassroots week-long movement that offered free legal consultation to residents in multiple US cities. During N.E.W. 2019, they grew from 18 events to more than 40, and they were able to expand to most states across the country. Their 2019 event had more than 3,000 attendees, and of those, more than 650 started the process of having their record expunged or sealed. Although not cannabis specific, National Expungement Week offers coordinated relief clinics, discussion groups, and healing sessions that aim to provide access to relief, equity, and opportunity in neighborhoods most affected by the War on Drugs [NationalExpungementWeek.org]. This year, National Expungement Week will take place from September 19 to 26, with over 40 events in 30 cities throughout the United States. These events include voter registration, expungement and sealing services, and social services, as well as health, housing, and education services. To get involved or donate to this year’s event, visit nationalexpungementweek.org.

At Cornerstone Wellness marijuana dispensary, we understand the complex social and political issues surrounding cannabis. We always aim to support positive forces such as National Expungement Week when we can, and we encourage all of our patrons to donate if possible. If you’d like to find out more about local weed shop laws and restrictions as well as available products, the knowledgeable team at Cornerstone Wellness marijuana dispensary can assist you in all aspects of the cannabis buying experience. Give us a call at (323) 259-8933 for more information or to schedule a visit.