ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — In partnership with legal service experts, Senator Jeremy Cooney hosted a free community event at Parcel 5 on Saturday to provide Rochester’s first ever marijuana expungement clinic.
Recently placed laws that permit the use of recreational marijuana in New York allow more adults to partake in the drug without fear of legal trouble, and part of the legislation calls for the removal of low level offenses.
As a response, Monroe County’s Public Defenders Office and Sen. Cooney created a pact to help those most impacted by the enforcement of marijuana drug laws. Event attendees received free advice on how to clear criminal convictions from their personal record and got the opportunity to meet legal experts.
Free, easy-to-digest legal information is not widely accessible, especially for communities of color. Sen. Cooney believes that marijuana-related record expungement is long overdue.
“[The event] is was about rectifying past wrongs done from the war on drugs laws,” Sen. Cooney said. “We wanted to bring that opportunity to the community directly to the people of Rochester who need it most.”
Parcel 5’s expungement clinic also provided free COVID-19 vaccinations and flu shots from Rite Aid.
Organizers will look to host more community-based events with a focus on legal information in the future.