No one should have criminal convictions on their record for low-level cannabis crimes
DENVER (July 23, 2020)–Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed a bill in June aimed at making Colorado’s cannabis industry more accessible to people of color, as well as those who have been convicted of cannabis crimes that are no longer on the books since cannabis was legalized for adult use in the state in 2012. The bill gives the governor the power to pardon anyone who has been convicted of possessing less than two ounces of cannabis. But the details are hazy, and many people — particularly people of color who tend to have less access to information sources — are uncertain about how to get their records cleared. A group of advocates, attorneys and corporate sponsors is offering help to anyone who needs it via a series of monthly online expungement clinics.
The next clinic is scheduled for August 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The clinic, to be held on Zoom, will feature a presentation by a knowledgeable attorney who will describe the general process and explain which crimes can and cannot be expunged. The attorney will then set up one-on-one consultations with participants. Interested parties should register by filling out a simple form on this Web page.
The clinics are being managed by The Color of Cannabis, a group organized to help people of color get a leg up in the Colorado cannabis industry, and to promote social and economic justice as it relates to cannabis generally.
“For decades, law enforcement and prosecutors targeted people for their cannabis use, resulting in arrests and convictions that were wildly out of proportion to the general population,” said Sarah Woodson, the group’s leader. “The Color of Cannabis was founded to help provide a pathway for restorative economic and criminal justice to communities negatively impacted by the war on drugs,” she added. “Removing the stain of unjust criminal convictions from people’s records is a crucial part of that.”
Woodson is the owner of Kush & Canvases, which offers cannabis-friendly classes in art, cooking, yoga, etc. and has been a long-time, active social justice advocate.
Sponsors of the clinics include the dispensary companies Lightshade, Native Roots, and The Terrapin Care Station, as well as Vicente Sederberg, LLC, a national law firm that specializes in cannabis law.
“Increased Inclusion and diversity will only strengthen Colorado’s cannabis industry, and this effort will go a long way toward getting us to that goal,” said Lisa Gee, Director of Marketing and Corporate Responsibility at Lightshade.
“Managing state bureaucracies is something that no private citizen should be expected to do,” said Brian Vicente, a founding partner at Vicente Sederberg. “That’s why we’re here to help.”
Lightshade: Colorado’s Premier Dispensary
Lightshade is Colorado’s premier cannabis dispensary serving recreational and medical cannabis consumers 21+ with a focus on high-quality cannabis products and personalized service. Founded in 2011, Lightshade operates nine dispensaries in Denver, Federal Heights, and Aurora. Lightshade is the first area dispensary to pioneer a Cannabis Social Responsibility platform and gives back to the communities it serves through volunteer work, donations and cannabis education. For more information, visit www.lightshade.com. Continue the conversation on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Emily Trigg at 318-564-8195 or [email protected].