“Would you like to know an absolutely crazy fact?” Rogen says in the promo. “Seventy-seven million people in the United States have a criminal record. There are 327 million people total in the United States today, and a large amount of these records are for minor offenses and seriously impede millions of people’s ability to live, restricting people’s access to jobs, housing, education and the right to vote. It doesn’t help them, and it doesn’t help this country.”
Expungement, Rogen notes, means “clearing or sealing the record of a person’s prior arrest, criminal charges or conviction.” And National Expungement Week, which runs September 21st through the 28th, helps people do exactly that: At 40 events in 30 cities across the country, the initiative will offer expungement workshops for people to meet with lawyers and other experts who can help them clear their records, as well as events like job fairs and voter registration. In some cities like Chicago, there are also events in Spanish.
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N.E.W., an initiative of Cage-Free Cannabis, is sponsored by Canadian cannabis company Houseplant — which was launched by Rogen and his filmmaking partner Evan Goldberg earlier this year — and Canopy Growth Corporation, as well as local sponsors hoping to expose social injustices stemming from stigmas surrounding cannabis. In particular, they hope to repair the negative results of the War on Drugs, the policies of which have disproportionately affected communities of color in terms of education, housing, the workforce, and other civil liberties.
Additional information about National Expungement Week, including dates and details of specific events, is available at the initiative’s official site.