On Saturday, Marley Natural and the Minority Cannabis Association (MCBA) teamed up to host Rise Up Expungement Day in Portland, Oregon. At the event, dozens of people with criminal records for non-violent cannabis-related offenses had the opportunity to file official requests for expungement with the State of Oregon. Legislation passed last year in Oregon has made it easier for those convicted of cannabis offenses to clear their records, but doing so can be complicated, and the associated costs and fees can exceed hundreds of dollars. At Rise Up Expungement Day, participants were guided through the process in just two hours, free of charge.
Rise Up Expungement Day was organized "in the spirit of giving back to communities that have been impacted by the cannabis prohibition,” said Cedella Marley, Bob Marley's eldest daughter, in an interview with USA Today about the program. A cannabis-related conviction can prelude individuals from employment and other opportunities; a clean record can offer a fresh start — the "first steps" to a new life, as one program participant explained.
Rise Up, a social impact initiative created by Marley Natural, supports projects that are committed to improving people's livelihoods, promoting environmental sustainability, and lifting up communities that have been harmed by the injustices of cannabis prohibition. Rise Up Expungement Day was a part of that effort. Currently, Rise Up also supports causes and organizations in both California and Jamaica.
The Minority Cannabis Business Association is the first non-profit organization created to service the specific needs and interests of minority cannabis entrepreneurs. Through programming and advocacy, they promote economic empowerment, social justice, and patient awareness in minority communities.