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Lawmakers will host expungement conference and town hall on legal cannabis industry in Detroit



Two state lawmakers who are championing a bill aimed at providing a fresh start for Michigan residents with pot-related convictions are hosting an expungement clinic and town hall on the cannabis industry in Detroit on Sunday.

The focus is two-pronged: Help residents expunge marijuana-related convictions and discuss about ways to get involved in the blooming cannabis industry.

Reps. Isaac Robinson and Jewell Jones, who are hosting the event, championed one of the nation’s most comprehensive expungement bills, which was approved by the House and is now before the Senate. The bill allows for expungements for misdemeanors and some low-level felonies related to marijuana, and would also streamline the expungement process for misdemeanors, giving prosecutors just 60 days to challenge petitioners. And unlike some states with expungement legislation, the only requirement is to fill out a simple application. That means no attorney fees or long wait times.

Until the bill is approved, residents who want to expunge their criminal record must go through a laborious process that requires legal help.

From noon to 2 p.m. at the Red Door Gallery at 7500 Oakland Ave., lawyers will be on hand to help people navigate the expungement process. Beginning at 2:30 p.m., activists will join the lawmakers for a town hall meeting on social and economic justice in the cannabis industry. The idea is to talk about opportunities for residents to get involved in the cannabis industry.

Some of the activists include Freeway Rick Ross and Bonita Money of the National Diversity and Inclusion Cannabis Alliance; journalist Bankole Thompson; Mary Waters of the Redemption Center; Margeaux Bruner of Perpetual Harvest Sustainable Solutions; Imad Hamad, founder and executive director of the American Human Rights Council; Tawanna Simpson, a former member of the Detroit School board; and attorneys Robyn McCoy and Tracey Martin.

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