BUFFALO, N.Y. — Now that marijuana is legal for adult-use in New York State, the Erie County District Attorney's office is working with community groups to help people expunge their marijuana convictions.
There are two workshops coming up to help guide people through the process: one this month and one next month.
Now that cannabis is legal, you might be able to expunge or reduce marijuana-related convictions on your criminal record. Those convictions can end up having huge impacts on people's lives, from their education and career opportunities to their ability to find a place to live.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn talked about some of the people he's met through the years who have had marijuana convictions negatively impact them.
"I've had individuals come up to me for years, who want to join the military, who tell me, you know, that they got caught with a small bag of marijuana at a Bills game, or in their pocket somewhere at a bus stop, and that conviction is precluding them from joining the military," Flynn said.
The clinics are scheduled for August 25 and September 24 at Elim Christian Fellowship in Buffalo.
"And really, what's going to end up happening, you know, it's not just the legalization of marijuana, but the expungements of these convictions are really going to allow people to move forward, become productive members of society if they haven't been able to do that already, and really kind of unburden these disproportionately impacted communities," said Kevin Stadelmaier of the Erie County Bar Association Assigned Legal Counsel Program.
The clinics are for people with convictions in Erie County, but if you have a conviction somewhere else, Flynn says to contact his office and they can point you in the right direction.