Columbia, MO: County officials have expunged over 70,000 marijuana-related convictions, including more than 10,000 felonies, since December, according to an update provided by NORML Board of Directors Member Dan Viets.
Viets is a co-author of Missouri’s citizens-initiated adult-use marijuana law and he served as Advisory Board Chair to the successful Legal Missouri 2022 campaign.
Provisions in the law, which took effect on December 8, 2022, required officials to expunge all eligible marijuana-related misdemeanor convictions by June 8, 2023.
Viets said that some counties had failed to make a “good faith effort” to meet the June deadline. He indicated that advocates may seek an order from the Missouri Supreme Court to compel certain counties to comply with the mandate.
Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws providing explicit pathways to either expunge (or otherwise set aside) the records of those with low-level marijuana convictions. This month, officials in Minnesota are beginning the process of reviewing and expunging an estimated 66,000 low-level cannabis convictions. According to publicly available data compiled by NORML, state and local officials have issued over 100,000 pardons and more than 1.7 million marijuana-related expungements since 2018.
The full text of NORML’s report, Marijuana Pardons and Expungements: By the Numbers, is available online. Additional information is available from Missouri NORML. Dan Viets may be contacted directly at email@example.com or by phone at (573) 819-2669.