Michigan Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Expunge Cannabis Convictions
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Michigan Lawmakers Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Expunge Cannabis Convictions

The legislation allows for expungements for misdemeanors and some low-level felonies.

October 18, 2019

Michigan Reps. Isaac Robinson and Jewell Jones have introduced bipartisan legislation that would expunge cannabis convictions for up to 235,000 residents, according to a Metro Times report.

The bill allows for the expungement of misdemeanors and low-level felonies involving less than 5 kg of cannabis or fewer than 20 plants, the news outlet reported.

Those looking to clear their records would fill out an application, and prosecutors would have 60 days to challenge petitioners.

“This is the most comprehensive piece of legislation around expungement,” cannabis educator, lobbyist and consultant Margeaux Bruner told Metro Times. “Expungement is a logistical nightmare. It’s a very labor-intensive process. It’s really important that we make this easy for people.”

Last month, state legislators introduced a package of bills that would allow people convicted of petty crimes to petition the courts for expungement, Metro Times reported, but low-level felonies were not included in that round of legislation.

The bill put forth by Robinson and Jones has incorporated input from Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel, Metro Times reported, and is backed by prosecutors, defense attorneys, civil liberties groups and Michigan residents with cannabis-related convictions. It has 33 co-sponsors, according to the news outlet, and supporters are urging the House Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing on the legislation.