Michigan: Governor Signs Marijuana Expungement Legislation into Law

Lansing, MI: Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a package of measures into law facilitating the review and expungement of certain crimes, including low-level marijuana violations.

Specifically, HB 4982 states, “A person convicted of one or more misdemeanor marihuana offenses may apply to set aside the conviction or convictions.” According to the Associated Press: “In Michigan, an expungement – or set aside – clears the public record of a conviction so it does not appear in a background check. Law enforcement still keeps a non-public record, but people no longer have to disclose their criminal past on job applications or other forms.”

Those with convictions for marijuana-related activities that are now legal under state law are presumed to be automatically eligible for expungement unless there is an objection raised by the prosecuting agency within 60 days of the applicant filing his or her petition.

House Bill 4982 took effect upon passage.

The measure is part of a broader package of expungement-related legislation approved by the Governor. A separate bill in the package, HB 4980, would automate the record clearing process for many low-level misdemeanor and felony offenses, including certain marijuana offenses, after a specified waiting period. However, that automated process is not anticipated to begin for another two and one-half years.

In a prepared statement, Gov. Whitmer said: “This is a historic day in Michigan. These bipartisan bills are a game changer for people who are seeking opportunities for employment, housing, and more, and they will help ensure a clean slate for hundreds of thousands of Michiganders.”

For more information, contact Carly Wolf, NORML State Policies Coordinator.