American Medical Association Supports Expungement Of Marijuana-Related Records In Cannabis Legal States

The American Medical Association (AMA) has adopted a policy of supporting the expungement of criminal records for people arrested or convicted of cannabis-related offenses in states where marijuana is legal or decriminalized.

“This affects young people aspiring to careers in medicine as well as many others who are denied housing, education, loans, and job opportunities. It simply isn’t fair to ruin a life based on actions that result in convictions but are subsequently legalized or decriminalized,” said AMA Trustee Scott Ferguson, M.D. “Expungement is no panacea. It can be a lengthy and expensive process. Automatic expungement would relieve people of having to figure out and pay for the bureaucratic steps necessary for sealing a criminal record.” 

Fairness and Social Equity On The Marijuana Legalization Path

Cannabis legalization is moving forward on what is not always a level playing fair hence the AMA's policy to introduce social equity starting with expungement for those who are still saddled with the baggage associated with a criminal record.

The AMA also supports health care access. If a record is expunged or sealed, that may not address the punitive collateral consequences of the arrest or conviction such as qualification for public health benefits.

This new AMA policy calls for ending parole, probation and similar supervision because of a cannabis-related offense that is later legalized or decriminalized by a state.

Data show inequitable effects on marginalized and minoritized populations. Black Americans are more likely to be arrested and prosecuted over cannabis than others. Expungement efforts aim to mitigate past harms in the legal system. More than 20 states have passed laws to expunge or seal records.

To determine the impact of disclosure of a cannabis-related offense on a medical school, residency, or licensing application, the AMA will discuss expungement with relevant medical education and licensing authorities such as the Association of American Medical Colleges, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, and Federation of State Medical Boards.

However, the AMA continues to oppose marijuana legalization, contending that it is associated with increased traffic fatalities, exposures reported to poison control, emergency department visits and cannabis-related hospitalizations.
Photo: Courtesy of Rick Proctor On Unsplash

Market News and Data brought to you by Benzinga APIs
Posted In: CannabisGovernmentNewsRegulationsPoliticsMarketsGeneralAccreditation Council for Graduate Medical EducationAmerican Medical AssociationAssociation of American Medical CollegesFederation of State Medical Boardsmarijuana legalizationScott Ferguson
Benzinga simplifies the market for smarter investing

Trade confidently with insights and alerts from analyst ratings, free reports and breaking news that affects the stocks you care about.

Join Now: Free!

The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is coming to Florida

The Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference is returning to Florida, in a new venue in Hollywood, on April 16 and 17, 2024. The two-day event at The Diplomat Beach Resort will be a chance for entrepreneurs, both large and small, to network, learn and grow. Renowned for its trendsetting abilities and influence on the future of cannabis, mark your calendars – this conference is the go-to event of the year for the cannabis world.

Get your tickets now on – Prices will increase very soon!