A New Day
Marley Natural strongly believes in empowering those harmed by the effects of cannabis prohibition and inclusion of minorities within the cannabis industry. Last week we partnered with the Minority Cannabis Association, the first non-profit organization created to serve the specific needs of minority cannabis entrepreneurs, workers, patients, and consumers to expunge 25 non-violent cannabis related offences.
Our Rise Up™ Expungement Day participants successfully filed requests with the state of Oregon, including all costs and fees being covered by Marley Natural. Expunging your record means you can legally declare on job and housing applications, loan applications, etc. that you do not have a criminal record in the state of Oregon.
Join us in sharing the many benefits of cannabis through positive social change. Here are interviews from some of those who participated describing their life-changing moments.
Name: Jesce Horton
I started the Minority Cannabis Business Association in October 2015 because I saw that a certain group of people were being left behind.
I realized that the industry would never be able to reach its full potential economically or as a means of social justice if we didn’t find some way to change that dynamic.
Economic Empowerment: Making sure that more people of color get opportunities of ownership, jobs, and benefit economically from the industry.
Social Justice: We’re doing programs like this collaboration with Marley Natural to make sure that we are helping what prohibition has caused, like the degradation of communities of color and a really strong form of disenfranchisement by giving people felonies and records. There are still a lot of people in prisons suffering from arrest for doing things that are now legal in a lot of states or cities.
Awareness: Patient and consumer awareness. There are a lot of diseases that affect people of color more – a number of different cancers are more common in African-Americans or Indian-Americans. So many different diseases affect us more than they affect the majority. If you take a closer look at those diseases, almost all of them can be helped with cannabis. We’re not even thinking about that in our communities – we still don’t see cannabis as a viable method of treatment – so we want to change that as well.
It's great to have a partner like Marley Natural go magnify those efforts and make it more meaningful to the community. It's important that other companies follow suit.
Name: Dr. Rachel Knox
Medical Chair of MCBA
I'm the medical chair of MCBA. Cannabis is medicine, it's a natural medicine. The way our government tells people what medicines they can take and food to eat is a gross abuse of power. Just last week somebody went away for 30 years for carrying a gram of cannabis. If that person had just been in a state where it was medicinally or recreationally legal, they would be free.
We live in a time where cannabis is legal and people are convicted of petty crimes for carrying, consuming or being involved with cannabis at one time in their life. Now they can’t get jobs, student loans or things that will advance them in society so they can be productive and take care of themselves. Those things should be overturned because other people are now benefiting over legalization and are free to get those jobs and that’s just unfair. There is no justice in that. It's a huge moral grievance and completely unethical.
It’s important that we help people expunge those records so that they can participate not just in cannabis, but in anything they want to do without being limited by prior records.
Name: JoDee Lackey
Cannabis community volunteer
Of all the things I've volunteered for, this is the most noble. I have no ulterior motive. I'm not networking, or promoting myself or a brand. I'm here for them. I would not have missed this. I was smoking this stuff when I could have been in prison and lost my children. I'm 73 in November, I was smoking during the years of prohibition. I have to be grateful that I'm here now and able to do this.
From: Salem, Oregon
"I'm not often early, but I arrived half an hour early for this expungement day. I've been struggling ever since I got this felony in 2012. I lost the house I was living in for 11 years and my children were taken away from a stable home – having a felony makes getting a job so much harder. I was just using cannabis to medicate and didn't have a medical card. I've tried so many medicines that the doctors prescribe me that have just made me sicker with the worst side effects. Because I want to work in human services, having a felony hinders you from being able to get a job in that industry because it sounds like you're a real criminal. Getting my record expunged today is going to change my life so much for the better."
From: Portland, Oregon
"When I found out that I qualified I flipped out! You guys are going to change my life. I was in high school and I decided to bring some pot to a friend’s house and was caught with it. Now I can actually apply for my Bachelor’s and get a job! Up until today, I was going to graduate with a Master’s in Social Work, be about $20,000 in debt and not be able to get a job in my field – all because of a mistake I made when I was 18. I feel like I shouldn't have been punished for the rest of my life for something that happened when I was 18; I’m a completely different person now."
From: Portland, Oregon
"I've had this misdemeanor since 2008. It's been tough. The hardest thing was finding employment and having something like this on my record. This follows me and I'm trying to better myself. I was finally able to get a job working with the NAYA - the Native American Youth and Family Association. I'm honored to be an employee in general but especially there. The cannabis charge has been a big barrier for me job-wise. I'm looking forward to getting help today and having this opportunity to change my life and be free of this major block."