Michigan Senate Passes Bills Allowing Cannabis Records To Be Expunged
Those with marijuana convictions in Michigan may soon be able to clear their criminal records thanks to the State Senate's passing of two bills Wednesday.
What To Know: The Michigan Senate has approved new expungement measures that would allow hundreds of thousands of people to clear their criminal records in an effort to ease entry into the workforce, according to the Associated Press.
If signed into law, Michigan intends to use an automated system for expungements of certain felonies after 10 years and misdemeanors after seven years.
While the measures do not include DWI offenses, they are expected to help roughly 235,000 people in Michigan who have misdemeanor records stemming from marijuana use or possession.
I'm excited that my legislation: SB681 passed the Michigan Senate today.
This legislation will automatically set aside (or expunge) criminal records for juvenile offenders who stay out a trouble.
This Clean Slate for Kids bill, and its companion SB682, are headed to the House.
— Jeff Irwin (@JeffMIrwin) September 23, 2020
Why It's Important: Marijuana was legalized for recreational use in the Wolverine State back in November 2018.
The news coincides with the third iteration of National Expungement Week, an initiative focused on offering expungement and other forms of legal relief to some 77 million Americans with criminal records.
Since its inception in 2018, the program has become known of assisting those with records through the process of clearing their convictions and offering wraparound services addressing reparative justice, voting rights, and housing, and food insecurity.
What's Next: The bill goes back to the House for final approval and then to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
"Everyone deserves a second chance because we've all made mistakes in life," Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist said in a statement. "With the passage of Clean Slate legislation in the Senate, we are one step closer to automatically clearing the criminal records of tens of thousands of Michiganders. This creates opportunities for people to secure meaningful work, provide for their families, find a home, and build their future. Let’s get this done."
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