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National Expungement Week
National Expungement Week 720 360 omie

A coalition of more than three dozen organizations working at the intersection of cannabis, racial equity, and reparative justice are gearing up for the second annual National Expungement Week (N.E.W.). From September 21-28, 2019, over thirty cities throughout the U.S. will be offering events featuring free clinics to help remove, seal, or reclassify eligible convictions from criminal records, as well as provide educational workshops, voter registration, and employment services.

Activists, organizers, teams of attorneys and volunteers nationwide, led by Cage-Free Cannabis and Equity First Alliance, have made over 40 events possible in almost twice as many participating cities as in 2018. Last year, the very first N.E.W. helped nearly 300 people to clear or seal their records. Over 400 people also received access to related social services and health screenings. 

Sponsors for these widespread events include Houseplant and Canopy Growth Corporations, NE.W.’s Michigan partners include African American Leadership Institute, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Om of Medicine, Delta Sigma Theta, Michigan Liberation, Iconic Hemp, Perpetual Harvest Sustainable Solutions, Michigan Cannabis Industry Association (MiCIA), Cannabis Legal Group, Black Men Stand, Loud.Social, Luv Infinite, Sticky Ypsi, Layfield Resume, Rising Star and many community-based organizations working towards repairing the injustices caused by the War on Drugs

“Too many people are locked up in this country, and far too many people are still locked out of society long after they’ve completed their sentence. This week offers a way to provide legal relief and wraparound services to justice-impacted people and their families while calling for automated expungement,” says Torie Marshall, director of programs at Cage-Free Repair [told the Michigan Chronicle].

Because of the widespread conversation regarding reparative justice in the cannabis industry, expungement is becoming a major part of reforming cannabis laws. The recently introduced marijuana expungement bill is part of a six-bill package that would expand expungement policy allowing more non-assaultive crimes to be cleared from records of people living in Michigan. The bill would give people with up to three, non-assaultive felonies or some traffic offenses to get their records cleared, it would give automatic expungement for certain offenders, it would allow forgiveness for acts where multiple felonies or misdemeanors arise from the same incident, and shorten the eligibility period for expungement from seven to three years depending on the crime. 

 “We are demonstrating that government can make good on its promises, especially to those who have been denied jobs, housing, and other opportunities because of their criminal record,” said Jennifer Pahlka, founder and executive director of Code for America. “Clear My Record is igniting change across the state and the nation.”

To further the importance of N.E.W., National Voter Registration Day is on Tuesday, September 24, 2019. Endorsed by the National Association of Secretaries of State as well as other National Election commissions and officials, this day gives millions of Americans the opportunity to vote through providing helpful resources. Many people find themselves unable to vote because they miss a registration deadline, don’t update their registration, or aren’t sure how to register. On Tuesday, volunteers and organizations will come together in an effort to broaden awareness of voter registration for those who may not register otherwise. In 2018, over 800,000 people used National Voters Registration Day to register to vote throughout the U.S. with the help of over 10,000 local volunteers. Uniting for a Common Purpose: National Voter Registration Day is a day of civic unity.

Attorney Robyn L. McCoy, who is also an educational advocate and attorney with the Michigan Children’s Law Center, said that “it is important that we educate people on how to redeem themselves and set aside their criminal convictions and that we do what is necessary to expand the expungement statutes so that more people are given the opportunity to clear their records, get a job and become productive citizens.”


List of Expungement Workshops in Michigan:

Detroit – Expungement Clinic, Career Services and Voter Registration

Date: September 21, 2019

Time: 12 – 3 p.m.

Location: Detroit Recovery Project | 1145 West Grand Boulevard, Detroit, MI 48208 


Lansing – Expungement Clinic, Career Services and Voter Registration

Date: September 23, 2019

Time: 3 – 8 p.m.

Location: Union Missionary Baptist Church | 500 South Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Lansing, MI 48915


Royal Oak – Legislative Panel Discussion and Voter Registration 

Date: September 23, 2019

Time: 12 – 2 p.m.

Location: Oakland Community College Royal Oak Campus | 739 South Washington Avenue, Royal Oak, MI 48067


Pontiac – Expungement Clinic, Career Services and Voter Registration

Date: September 24, 2019

Time: 5 – 9 p.m.

Location: Your Emerging Space


Detroit – (Resident Only) Expungement Clinic

Date: September 28, 2019

Time: 10a.m. – 3p.m.

Location: Straight Gate International Church | 10100 Grand River Ave, Detroit, MI 48204

Nick
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Nick has been active in Michigan’s cannabis policy reform efforts since 2009 when he joined the University of Michigan’s chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP). Since 2011, Nick has been one of the chief organizers of the Ann Arbor Hash Bash along with several other integral Om employees. In 2015, Nick co-founded MI Legalize with dozens of other Michigan activists determined to bring cannabis legalization to Michigan. Once legalization was secured on the ballot, Nick worked as Michigan’s Field Manager for SSDP to focus on student involvement in GOTV activities. The Michigan Regulation & Taxation or Marihuana Act (MRTMA) passed in 2018. Since then, Nick has continued to advocate for advancing drug policies to further advance human rights and reverse the harms of the Drug War. An amateur guitarist in his free time, Nick can be found writing and performing music or otherwise drinking in as much live music as time will allow.

Kelsey
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Kelsey is a life long learner and a bit of a nerd. She has a bachelor’s degree in communication technology and is pursuing her master’s degree in Health Education. She is also a personal trainer, massage therapist, and yoga teacher. Kelsey has many interests and hobbies. She has many tattoos that each have a fun story. She loves the science and spirituality of cannabis and believes that it has the power to heal. Kelsey is passionate about educating and reducing stigma about the plant. Kelsey has a compassionate and gentle yogi soul and rides to work on a motorcycle. She has a dog with whom she loves paddle boarding, hiking, and biking. 

Rachel
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Rachel grew up in Monroe, Michigan and recently moved to Ann Arbor. She began using medical cannabis to improve her creativity, mental health, and quality of life. Drawn to people of all walks of life, she knew as soon as she began at Om that this is where she is meant to be in this moment. Rachel chose to enter the cannabis industry with the hope to help this incredible plant positively impact others’ lives in the same way that it has touched her own. In her free time, Rachel can typically be found with her nose in a novel, with some vegan munchies beside her, and enjoying the peace of the outdoors. 

Daniel
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Daniel is a midwesterner through and through who hails from the suburbs of Chicago and has now planted his roots in the northern suburbs of Detroit.  He traveled around the nation for higher learning and has earned degrees in Business Administration at Champlain College in Burlington, VT and Culinary Arts at Scottsdale Culinary Institute in Arizona. Daniel found his way to Om of Medicine and the cannabis industry after working in the hospitality food & beverage business for the past 22 years.  He is a classically trained chef, and although he doesn’t cook professionally anymore, he is still a dedicated foodie and passionate artist at heart.  When he isn’t following Chicago sports teams or spending time with his young family, Daniel can be found noodling on one of four instruments or attending live shows and music festivals.  He hopes to continue bringing the positive and upbeat vibe to Om, emphasizing world class service to our patients and an amazing place for our staff to call Om.

Chad
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Chad was born and raised in the Ypsilanti/Ann Arbor area, and recently graduated from Michigan State University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology with a minor in Health Promotion. Chad has always been a strong believer in the healing properties of cannabis, but it was not until he experienced early on-set arthritis in his hip and began losing mobility that he became a true advocate for this amazing plant. Since being a patient, he has completely regulated his pain by pharmaceutical-free means, and wants to help his community of Ann Arbor to reap similarly amazing health benefits. As one of Om’s Patient Consultants, Chad values making all patients that come through our doors feel welcome, heard, and supported. Outside of Om Chad likes to spend his time traveling, enjoying good food with family, and taking his dog Ace though Ann Arbor’s nature trails.

ASSESSING EXPERIENCES OF MEDICAL CANNABIS PATIENTS (ENROLLING NOW!)
ASSESSING EXPERIENCES OF MEDICAL CANNABIS PATIENTS (ENROLLING NOW!) 150 150 omie

Our 3rd IRB-approved study is in collaboration with Dr. Dan Kruger, an University of Michigan public health professor! It is titled: Assessing and Monitoring the experiences of medical cannabis users.

The purpose of this study is to examine the real-life experiences of medical cannabis patients to help provide valuable information for existing practices and public policy.

Participation Eligibility:

  1. Age requirement- 18 years and older
  2. State issued Medical Cannabis Patient Cardholder

Participating in this study is completely voluntary. Even if you decide to participate now, you may change your mind and stop at any time. You may choose not to complete the survey or answer questions for any reason.

Click here for the link to the survey!

On average, this survey may take up 15-20 minutes to complete. Please prepare to answer questions about your knowledge related to the medical use of cannabis, your patterns of use and routes of administration, your experiences with health care professionals regarding medical cannabis and comparisons between cannabis pharmaceutical drugs.

2019 Nationwide Chronic Pain Study
2019 Nationwide Chronic Pain Study 150 150 omie

We partnered again with the University of Michigan for our second research study in 2018, titled: “Pills to Pot: Observational Analyses of Cannabis Substitution Among Medical Cannabis Users With Chronic Pain.”

By widening our reach from only Michigan patients to cardholders across many medical states, we are able to further implicate our findings on larger, more encompassing level.

Our goal is to further examine how cannabis use is related to pain management, quality of life, and the use of other medications. We can use the information collected to not only help our patients directly but help inform physicians, researchers, policy-makers about the potential benefits and risk of cannabis as a therapeutic agent.

We are currently in the process of being published! Stay tuned for our results and major findings.

Faron F. – May 2019
Faron F. – May 2019 1024 768 omie

“I first tried cannabis when I was 20 years old primarily to help me sleep, as well as focus. Now, I use it for numerous things that no other medicine has been able to help me with. I don’t use dabs or concentrates, but I do use edibles, flower, and balms/lotions. I do therapy for people whom I’ve used balm and lotions on, and I can attest to the level of which this medicine works. I have been using CBD to treat my son and husband for issues, which has saved them. And THC has saved me. My family is in a much better place because I have a medical card, guaranteeing me safe access to quality meds. My quality of life was crap before using cannabis. I was in bed 80% of the time. Now I’m able to function during menstruation, I can eat, sleep, and draw a thought. Because of its natural medicinal properties, I know there are no fillers that could harm me and I have gained a lot of valuable information to share with others after four years of regular cannabis use.”

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