Unused newspaper boxes might offer the ticket to freedom for non-violent weed offenders nabbed as part of the War on Drugs

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Some old newspaper boxes that are no longer needed for local publications are being repurposed in the U.S. as art installations , free libraries , collectables and, in Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County, a pardon application holder. The brainchild of the Montco arm of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) and TerraVida Victims of the War on Drugs (VOWD), a non-profit providing education to community leaders and legislators on the value of marijuana, some boxes in the county are now being filled with free pardon applications related to cannabis convictions, according to whyy.org . The idea dates back to 2019, after Norristown, Pa. passed an ordinance to decriminalize marijuana. Murray Riley, police officer turned Olympian turned international drug trafficker, dead at 94 LA County DA clears 66K cannabis convictions thanks to Code for America algorithm Even with legalization, people of colour are still disproportionately targeted for cannabis-related offences VOWD is providing some funding, having joined the initiative after hearing about it on Facebook, whyy.org  reports. There is now a bin outside the Montgomery County Courthouse in Norristown and one in front of the Lansdale Public Library. A third is planned for the Ambler Train Station in Ambler, Pa. sometime this month. The ultimate goal is to have the refurbished boxes statewide. The boxes are filled weekly and, at least so far, they are “almost empty every week,” Geoff Smith, director of Montco NORML, told whyy.org . “These pardon bins have been a great win for us,” added VOWD head Cathie Cashman. So far, Pennsylvania’s 18-page pardon application has been provided to more than 800 people, reports whyy.org . Noting that the state already has “an expedited marijuana pardon protocol in place,” Pennsylvania lieutenant governor John Fetterman told the publication that the protocol puts “less of an emphasis on…

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Source : Unused newspaper boxes might offer the ticket to freedom for non-violent weed offenders nabbed as part of the War on Drugs

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