Here in Colorado, we’re at the cutting edge of what will likely be the nationwide repeal of the prohibition of cannabis. As the first state to legalize recreational or “adult-use” cannabis, it’s easy for us to feel that we’ve done our part in the fight for justice and that now it’s time for other states to follow suit while we rest on our accomplishments. While that’s partially true, and we should feel proud of the work we’ve done, there’s still more to be done in the struggle for cannabis justice.
Take for instance the people who’ve been convicted of cannabis crimes that are no longer illegal. “For thousands of Americans,” says an article published at The Marshall Project, “marijuana convictions still bring life-altering consequences, making it difficult to, among other things, find and keep a job, get a professional license or obtain a student loan.”
The article goes on to point out that, “Communities of color have been hit especially hard by the decades-long war on drugs. Studies show a stark racial imbalance in drug enforcement; a 2013 American Civil Liberties Union report concluded that African-Americans were nearly four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites, although use of the drug was roughly equal among the races.”
In an effort to correct past wrongs, the city of Denver has introduced a program to expunge around 10,000 marijuana convictions that occurred between 2001 and 2013. Dubbed “Turn Over a New Leaf,” the program seeks to assist people who have low-level convictions get them wiped from their record, and the city has established a website for citizens seeking information.
“For too long, the lives of low-income residents and those living in our communities of color have been negatively affected by low-level marijuana convictions,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said in a statement. “This is an injustice that needs to be corrected, and we are going to provide a pathway to move on from an era of marijuana prohibition that has impacted the lives of thousands of people.”
At The Green Solution, we’re proud to be at the forefront of the cannabis industry, and grateful to be doing business in a city and state that are committed to fair and equitable cannabis laws.