Over 40,000 residents with marijuana-related convictions will have their records either fully or partially expunged on January 1, 2023, according to an announcement made earlier today by Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont.
“On January 1, thousands of people in Connecticut will have low-level cannabis convictions automatically erased due to the cannabis legalization bill we enacted last year,” Gov. Lamont said. “Especially as Connecticut employers seek to fill hundreds of thousands of job openings, an old conviction for low-level cannabis possession should not hold someone back from pursuing their career, housing, professional, and educational aspirations.”
Legislation signed into law last year regulating the adult-use cannabis market contained provisions providing for the automatic review and expungement of prior convictions involving the possession of up to four ounces of cannabis. Those with more serious marijuana-related records may petition the courts for relief.
NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano praised the Governor’s announcement. “Tens of thousands of Americans unduly carry the burden and stigmatization of a past conviction for behavior that most Americans, and a growing number of states, no longer consider to be a crime,” he said. “Our sense of justice and our principles of fairness demand that public officials and the courts move swiftly to right the past wrongs of cannabis prohibition and criminalization.”
Two dozen states have enacted legislation explicitly facilitating the expungement of prior marijuana-specific convictions. In many of these states, the law provides for the automatic review and erasure of these convictions. As a result of these laws, an estimated 2 million Americans had their cannabis-related convictions set aside in recent years.
Additional information on marijuana-related expungement laws is available from NORML.