A new bill was introduced in Michigan on July 16 which would help expunge prior cannabis convictions if it is passed.
According to Detroit Free Press, Senate Bill 416 was introduced by Sen. Jeff Irwin and would automatically clear low-level cannabis possession charges from records. This would remove about 235,000 misdemeanor charges from records for Michigan residents. “Automatic expungement for all of our lowest-level cannabis offenders allows people to move on with their lives and making it automatic is essential because many people can’t afford an attorney, or the legal fees associated with an application,” stated Irwin. “Cannabis is now legal in Michigan and petty offenses in the past should be no barrier to getting back to work or school.”
Best of all, it wouldn’t require any extra time or money to move through the legal process. “We would go in through the Michigan State Police’s database and make changes to records electronically and administratively without having to go through all the time and expense of going through the courts,” said Irwin to the state Senate. “This is so important to a large number of people in Michigan . . . who, when they’re applying for jobs or student loans, they’re put in a position where their record can affect their future.” The bill would also offer chances for people with more serious charges to have their records cleared if they qualify.
To Irwin, this is the correct move to continue improving Michigan’s cannabis industry and community. “This is the next step in ending the unsuccessful prohibition of marijuana that incarcerated and punished Michigan residents unfairly for decades,” he said in a statement. “After last year’s mandate from voters, I am hopeful that a majority of legislators will vote to give Michigan residents back the opportunities that were unjustly taken from them.”
Michigan has recently been passing a lot of groundbreaking and important cannabis legislation. The state just had to issue emergency cannabis legalization rules for the changing industry and legislators are also working out how to regulate cannabis with warning labels.