This November, Michigan voters will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana. If Michiganders vote for recreational marijuana legalization, what will happen to people who got convicted of marijuana offenses? This question is being addressed by state Representative Sheldon Neeley, who introduced a bill this month that would make it easier for people with marijuana crimes on their record to obtain an expungement.
If you have been charged with a drug crime in Michigan, a marijuana lawyer from DeBruin Law PLLC can help. Our legal team has extensive experience helping reduce or expunge drug charges. To learn more during a free, confidential consultation with a Lansing drug crimes attorney, call us today at 517-324-4303.
Marijuana Legalization Lobby Dropped Expungement Provision
When writing Michigan’s recreational marijuana law, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol had considered adding a provision to address the expungement of low-level marijuana offenses. However, legal advisors counseled against it because the broader the reach of a bill, the more vulnerable it is to a legal challenge. By keeping the law focused, legislators believe it has a better chance of surviving potential legal scrutiny from the courts.
Other states that have legalized recreational marijuana provided for the expungement or sealing of cannabis-related offenses. For example, California’s legalization law, Proposition 64, created a legal process for people to apply for expungement of their marijuana offenses.
If you have questions about expungement after a marijuana charge, you should contact a marijuana lawyer right away.
Who Will Benefit from Expungement?
Representative Neeley believes expungement is essential to “balance the playing field on the usage of marijuana in the state of Michigan,” adding that “we definitely don’t want people to have a criminal record for a nonviolent crime that is now legal if it passes in November.”
Neeley’s proposed legislation would direct judges to grant requests for the expungement of misdemeanor convictions for the possession of small quantities of cannabis, or for some growing offenses. As a result, thousands of Michiganders may be able to clean up their criminal records. Since 2013, close to 50,000 Michiganders have been convicted for misdemeanor marijuana offenses according to Michigan State Police records. 3,670 of these people were in prison, jail, or on probation as of 2016.
How a Lansing Drug Crimes Lawyer Can Help
If you or a family member is being charged with a controlled substance offense, you can avoid devastating criminal penalties by hiring a Michigan marijuana lawyer from DeBruin Law PLLC. Through decisive action early in your case, you will give yourself the best chances of obtaining a positive outcome.