Massachusetts: Governor Signs Marijuana Expungement Provision Into Law

Boston, MA: Republican Gov. Charlie Baker signed legislation into law on Friday that includes a provision expunging the criminal records of those convicted of certain prior marijuana offenses.

Language in Senate Bill 2371 states, “[A] court may order the expungement of a record created as a result of a criminal court appearance … if the court determines based on clear and convincing evidence that the record was created as a result of … an offense at the time of the creation of the record which at the time of expungement is no longer a crime.”

Massachusetts voters passed a voter initiative in November 2016 legalizing the adult use, possession (up to 10 ounces in private), and cultivation (up to six plants) of cannabis by adults.

California and Oregon similarly permit the courts to dismiss prior marijuana convictions in instances where the offense occurred prior to the passage of adult use legalization.

For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.