If you remember, it was hardly a week ago that we discussed the issue of having people’s weed-related convictions wiped out or expunged, after the legalization of marijuana in certain states. The state of Illinois recently made national headlines by signing their new Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (which takes effect in 2020) into law, allowing hundreds of thousands of residents to automatically receive clemency for convictions of up to 30 grams of cannabis. But what was the plan in Michigan? Do we have anything on the agenda to address weed-related convictions?
At that time, no… but that’s changed in Michigan!
Senator Jeff Irwin has introduced Senate Bill 416, which would automatically expunge the records of any Michigan resident convicted of possession or use of marijuana. According to Irwin, if signed into law, the bill will clear the state of Michigan criminal records of 235,000 Michigan convicts, which he hopes will give them a fresh start and access to opportunities that their criminal histories had previously made impossible.
Senator Irwin wants people to have a fresh start in life.
When addressing the media about his bill, Senator Irwin explained his stance on the matter. “Automatic expungement for all of our lowest-level cannabis offenders allows people to move on with their lives, and making it automatic is essential because many people can’t afford an attorney or the legal fees associated with an application to clear their criminal conviction. Cannabis is now legal in Michigan and petty offenses in the past should be no barrier to getting back to work or school.” This proposal is not without opposition.
So how would the new law work if the bill is passed?
Senator Irwin’s proposed bill doesn’t cover every single person with marijuana convictions on their record. In order to have your marijuana-related criminal history wiped under Senator Irwin’s proposed law, you can’t have more than one marijuana-related felony and two misdemeanors. Although there is a process in place for Michigan residents with criminal records, under Irwin’s bill the process would make the process automatic for anyone who qualifies. Remember, this does not apply to those convicted in federal courts.
For those who don’t qualify, we can help.
Here at The Kronzek Firm, we can help with an expungement request if you have a criminal record (even one not related to marijuana). Remember, this bill hasn’t been signed into law (and it might not make it that far!) And even if it does, not everyone is eligible. So if you have a past indiscretion on your record that’s keeping you from the home, school or job of your dreams, please download our expungement information form. By filling it out and submitting it, we’ll be able to determine whether or not you’re eligible to petition for an expungement in Michigan.