Expungement Efforts Surge on 4/20 With Ben & Jerry’s, Code for America

(Courtesy of Ben and Jerry's)

In California, you can do some good in the world just by stocking up for 4/20. Nice.

This week Ben & Jerry’s announced a partnership with Caliva, the California cannabis retailer and delivery service, to raise money to clear old marijuana records—a process called expungement.

Another delivery service, Eaze, also announced it will raise money to back Code for America’s push for automatic marijuana record expungement across the US.

All Californians 21 and older with valid ID who place orders with Caliva today and Saturday get a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Half-Baked with their cannabis order. On Saturday, 4.2% of all Caliva revenue on delivery orders—and in-store orders in San Jose—benefit Code for America’s “Clear My Record” program.

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Similarly, Eaze will chip in $4.20 to Code for America for every delivery order on April 20—up to a total contribution of $100,000.

America’s cannabis holiday this Saturday 4/20 offers more than the chance to relax with friends and celebrate the success of reform.

It’s a chance to reflect on the movement’s gains and the work left undone—like the legacy of past arrests, and the hundreds of thousands of cannabis arrests that will continue to happen this year in prohibition states.

Local dispensaries and national reform groups have countless 4/20 activism efforts planned—from writing letters to those incarcerated, to lobbying local representatives in support of reform bills.

Ben & Jerry’s marketing manager Justin Gural said: “We want to have some fun with fans on the holiday with the delivery surprises, and supporting Clear My Record is no doubt the cherry on top.”

Jennifer Lujan, director of social impact at Eaze, said that her company’s partnership with Code for America “has an immediate impact, and is just one way we can all work together to create an equitable and sustainable industry.”

Expungements Very Needed

Tens of millions of Americans have a cannabis arrest or conviction on their records, which can limit employment, housing, and educational opportunities decades after the incident.

Cannabis is now legal in 10 states. In California, that state’s Proposition 64 started addressing the past damage of the drug war. The law, passed by voters in 2016, eliminates or sharply downgrades sentences for most cannabis activity, and it’s retroactive.

Affected Californians can petition for a sentence reduction, or early release, or record reduction, or expungement. The process is technically free, but it can cost around $1,000 in legal fees to push the paperwork.

Code for America makes the process actually free and automatic through their Clear My Record program.

(Courtesy Code for America)
(Courtesy Code for America)

Clear My Record algorithms helped San Francisco County District Attorney George Gascon find and fix eight thousand marijuana records going back to the 1970s. Clear My Record spreads to Southern California this summer.

Extra funding from Ben & Jerry’s and Eaze will help amplify those efforts. Clear My Record’s goal is to clear 250,000 eligible convictions in 2019. We’ll smoke to that.