The week of July 15, 2019, Sen. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, will be introducing a bill that would clear misdemeanors involving low-level marijuana use and possession charges. Roughly 235,000 people will have their records automatically expunged without having to go through the courts.
“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,” says Irwin.
This bill is similar to Illinois, where legislature passed a bill earlier this year that would provide an automatic pardon of possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana. Michigan does have a way for people to apply for an expungement of their record, but only about 6% of people with medical marijuana charges on their record have participated because of the time and expense.
Many prosecutors around Michigan are looking at pending cases and dismissing some misdemeanor marijuana crimes if those charges are no longer illegal under the new legalization law, William Vailliencourt, the Livingston County prosecutor and president-elect of the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan said.
“We look at the conduct involved and if it’s not a violation of what voters approved in November, we’ve dismissed the charges,” he said. “But we’re taking it case by case.”
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