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You’re Invited: Confusion and Exclusion: Impacts of the Hazy State of D.C. Marijuana Legalization on People with Criminal Records
September 15, 2021 @ 7:00 pm EDT

The Council for Court Excellence invites you to Confusion and Exclusion: Impacts of the Hazy State of D.C. Marijuana Legalization on People with Criminal Records, on Wednesday, September 15 at 7 pm.


Despite the (semi-)legalization of marijuana in the District, its use—or even suspected use—can still trigger legal consequences, especially for people with criminal records. People on supervised release who legally use marijuana in D.C. can find themselves violating the terms of their supervision, re-arrested, fired from their jobs, or unable to find a new job, all of which are grounds for re-incarceration. The Metropolitan Police Department continues to use drug-sniffing dogs that are trained to find marijuana and continues to disproportionately arrest Black people for marijuana related offenses. People with drug and other convictions are prohibited from participating in D.C.’s medical marijuana industry, excluding people who were targeted by the War on Drugs from participating in the prosperity of the now-legal cannabis industry. With Congress poised to remove its anti-marijuana rider in the FY22 budget, D.C. may soon have the opportunity to clarify its hazy laws. This virtual forum will feature a moderated discussion among local experts parsing through the nuances of marijuana law and policy in D.C., the risks and barriers it poses to people with criminal records, and the opportunities to transform our system moving forward.


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Featured Panelists:

·     Queen Adesuyi, Policy Manager, Drug Policy Alliance

·     Corey Barnette, Founder and CEO, Kinfolk Dispensary; Owner and President, District Growers LLC

·     David Grosso, former D.C. Council Member; Partner, Arent Fox LLP

·     Emily Gunston, Deputy Attorney General for Legislative Affairs and Policy, D.C. Office of the Attorney General

·     Crystal Marshall, Member, Community Family Life Services Speakers Bureau


The discussion will be moderated by Martin Austermuhle, Reporter and Editor at WAMU 88.5.


This event is the fourth and final in a summer series of public forums on urgent justice topics in the District hosted by the Council for Court Excellence (CCE) in partnership with the Office of the D.C. Auditor (ODCA). Each of these lively forums featured experts, local stakeholders, and individuals affected by law or public policy that’s ripe for change in D.C. Speakers addressed barriers to reform, explored how community perceptions and needs are being addressed, and dug into viable options for change. You can watch recordings of past events here. CCE and ODCA will publish transcripts of each event. Follow @CCE_for_DC and @ODCA_DC for updates and join the conversation on Twitter by using #DCJusticeForums.


September 15, 2021
7:00 pm