LOS ANGELES, November 3, 2017 — One year ago Californians legalized cannabis for adults over 21, by overwhelmingly passing Proposition 64: The Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Prop. 64 is a law that was equal parts criminal justice reform and the regulatory framework for the adult use cannabis industry. Expungements of cannabis-related convictions began immediately, and the sale of recreational cannabis will begin on January 1, 2018.
Under Prop. 64, people can remove or reduce prior cannabis convictions off their criminal records for no cost. To assist community members obtain Prop. 64 relief, attorneys and advocates from several organizations will be on hand to assist community members at an expungement clinic honoring the 1st anniversary of Prop. 64 passing in California. All residents will have access to free direct services for expungements, Prop 47 felony reductions, Prop 64 applications, free live scans, and driver’s license issues. These services will be offered from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saturday November 4th at Arroyo Seco Regional Library 6145 N. Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90042
In California, people with felony convictions can face up to 4,800 barriers that limit their access to jobs, housing and educational opportunities. 58% of these barriers are employment-related and 73% are permanent or lifetime bans. A criminal record also prevents immigrants from becoming documented or citizens.
“Nothing stops a bullet like a job, and removing barriers caused by a criminal record helps provide a pathway to full citizenship, access to employment, housing, and a chance for a better life,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis. “There is no doubt that a secure job and a safe home can provide a sense of dignity, purpose, hope, and an income—all of which help prevent crimes. These clinics are an important step in providing opportunities for advancement and a second chance.”
Individuals seeking help with clearing their criminal record must bring their criminal case docket, available from the county courthouses or a copy of their California Department of Justice rap sheet. Individuals interested in the expungement services must contact Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles at (424) 290-1523 to be screened and make an appointment.
“People come to these events with thousands of barriers caused by a criminal record that prevent them from obtaining housing or a job,” said Eunisses Hernandez, Policy Coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance. “Removing these barriers helps our community members gain a pathway to citizenship, access to employment, housing, and other supportive services.”
“It’s important to remember cannabis legalization in California is also about repairing the harms of bad past drug policies,” said Jonatan Cvetko member of LA County Board of Supervisors Cannabis Advisory Working Group and founder of Angeles Emeralds. “In LA County we have taken a strong lead towards upholding the moral compass of cannabis legalization. These clinics are an important step in providing opportunities of advancement for our community.
This event is being organized by a partnership of organizations including: the Drug Policy Alliance, Angeles Emeralds, Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership, and Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis (District 1).