Small business owners in states from Pennsylvania to Texas are paving the way for helping people seal state and federal records for marijuana, drugs, and other nonviolent crimes, according to a new poll. I strongly agree with doing it.
As labor shortages due to the coronavirus pandemic affect industries across the country, small business owners appear to be particularly active in finding ways to attract and retain workers. Having a criminal record that a person must disclose for employment can deter people from even applying.
A study by Small Business Majority, a nonprofit organization representing a network of more than 85,000 businesses, found that an average of three out of four small business owners in the six states surveyed said they needed criminal justice to address the problem. I found myself in favor of judicial reform.
The poll asked separately about federal and state criminal record seals, and the results were about the same. Respondents supported or opposed legislation that created a petition process for people to “seal records of nonviolent crimes, nonviolent cannabis and drug crimes, and arrest records of those acquitted.” was asked.
As for state-specific options, 77% said they would support such legislation, with 36% saying they would “strongly” support it. As for the federal court question, 76% said they supported the proposal, with 33% showing strong support.
This is not necessarily a nationally representative survey, as it only covers small business owners in six specific states. However, these states are ideologically distinct, and this can be interpreted to reflect the broad support the reform has across the political spectrum. , Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.
Nearly 80% of small business owners also said removing barriers to employment for people with criminal records would save taxes by “reducing recidivism and the need for long-term government assistance.” Additionally, a majority of respondents (71%) acknowledge that the criminal justice system disproportionately impacts minorities.
Read more about how #Small Biz Owner support #criminal justice reform Address persistent workforce challenges https://t.co/9DJ2WwvkN4
— Small Business Majority (@SmlBizMajority) October 26, 2022
Small Business Majority CEO John Arensmeyer said in a press release Wednesday: “Small businesses are broadly supportive of legislation that improves re-employment opportunities for individuals impacted by justice, opening candidate pools to those with aspirations to contribute to their local economies and communities. “
The poll included interviews with 850 small business owners in six states from September 13-20, with a margin of error of +/-4%.
Lawmakers in several states have moved to expedite the clearing of marijuana conviction records, among others, as the legalization movement continues to spread. signed. In Virginia, courts have sealed tens of thousands of cannabis distribution records in the past year.
A key committee in the US House of Representatives approved a series of criminal justice reform bills last month. This includes a bipartisan proposal to clear the record of past federal marijuana convictions.
President Joe Biden recently issued a massive pardon for those guilty of federal cannabis possession offenses, but that doesn’t have the same effect as sealing or expunging records.
He said on Sunday that his pardon “changed the lives of thousands of people.” However, he separately suggested last week that he would not grant a pardon to those who sold marijuana.
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