The National Diversity and Inclusion Cannabis Alliance (NDICA), the Fresno County Public Defender's Office and Element 7 will host a free expungement clinic on Saturday, June 29, in Fresno, California, paving the way for residents with minor drug-related criminal records to enter the legal and licensed cannabis industry to gain meaningful employment.
Volunteers from the Fresno County Public Defender’s Office will be available at the clinic to provide free legal assistance to Fresno residents with drug-related criminal records. Public defenders will also be available to begin the process of full expungements for residents with more serious criminal records.
“Diversity is the steam that powers innovation,” said Robert DiVito, CEO of Element 7. “It is absolutely critical that the cannabis industry is reflective of its enthusiasts and brings people from all backgrounds, ages, cultures, and genders together so that we can collectively shape the cannabis industry in the best way possible. We hope this clinic serves as a step toward helping Fresno residents contribute to the cannabis industry and rights the wrongs they’ve faced.”
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Bonita “Bo” Money, founder and executive director of NDICA, told Benzinga that last year the organization recognized Fresno's communities of color were being neglected when it came to social justice and social equity in the cannabis space.
“There has been less than 90 people that have had their records expunged in Fresno since the passing of Prop 64, even though this city has one of the highest arrest rates in the state. This is unacceptable,” she said, calling for more action and increased community outreach and awareness around these programs and services that are available to the people who have been “harmed by the targeted War on Drugs.”
Photo courtesy of NDICA.
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