Legislation would incentivize state and local governments to expunge the criminal records of tens of millions of Americans who have previously been convicted of marijuana offenses.
State legislators in 2021 enacted over 50 laws liberalizing marijuana policies in more than 25 states.
333,886 simple marijuana possession conviction records were previously sealed after the state enacted a measure in 2020 to decriminalize low-level marijuana possession offenses.
Regulators should not be creating undue barriers of entry for those seeking to participate in the legal adult use marketplace. This new rule will encourage more inclusiveness and diversity in Washington’s growing cannabis industry.”
The new cases consist of both felony and misdemeanor convictions dating back three decades.
New Jersey courts have either dismissed or vacated an estimated 362,000 marijuana cases since July 1 and an additional 150,000 New Jersey residents may also be eligible to have their marijuana-related records automatically expunged in the near future.
A separate ordinance passed by the city clears the criminal records of those convicted of low-level marijuana possession offenses. It is estimated that some 10,000 residents will be granted blanket pardons under this action.
These are the first of up to 360,000 cases and convictions that are eligible for vacation, dismissal and automatic expungement.