This has been one of the hardest truths for people to swallow here in Michigan – the fact that despite the legalization of recreational marijuana, there are still people languishing in jails all over the state of Michigan for marijuana drug crimes that aren’t crimes anymore. “Why can’t they go free? Why should they serve time for something that isn’t even illegal anymore? It’s not fair! It doesn’t make sense! Why don’t they just let them go?”
Many people want to know why Michigan isn’t wiping out past weed convictions.
These are the questions we hear all the time, and the answers are complicated, and often frustrating. When the people sitting in jail for small-time possession or weed dealing convictions are loved ones, it certainly feels unjust. Especially when you know that someone else can do that very same thing this year (now that weed is legal) and have no legal repercussions at all! So what is the state of Michigan doing to address this issue?
The answers aren’t going to be what you want to hear right now…
The simple answer is ‘nothing’. Yes, we know, it’s hard to accept – hard to understand why there are people sitting in jail right now for things that aren’t even crimes anymore. And what seems to make this even more difficult to understand or accept, it the fact that other states seem to be making sweeping changes to address this issue. Like in Washington, or Illinois, where the new governor has recently signed a number of laws that legalize marijuana, and enact sweeping changes to the state’s criminal justice system.
Illinois is dismissing thousands of small-time marijuana possession charges
In particular: marijuana. About 770,000 residents of Illinois with marijuana-related offenses on their criminal records will be granted a reprieve. The state’s new Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act (which takes effect in 2020) allows people to automatically receive clemency for convictions up to 30 grams of cannabis. Those convicted with larger amounts, from 30-500 grams can petition a court to have the charge lifted.
Michigan doesn’t have any bills addressing this issue right now.
There have certainly been a lot of discussions here in Michigan since recreational marijuana was legalized, about how to deal with this exact issue. But so far, nothing has been suggested, and no plans have been initiated by the House of Senate. So what hope do people here in Michigan have for addressing old marijuana-related use and possession charges? Well, you can start by talking to your local legislators. Bills may start with them, but the desire for change usually starts among the people. Think about it… weed is legal because people fought for that right.
If you’re hoping to get an old marijuana charge off your criminal record…
Call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 today and discuss your situation with one of our skilled and experienced criminal defense attorneys. Or download our expungement information form, fill it out, and submit it with $90. We’ll review it and figure out whether or not you’re eligible to petition to have your criminal record expunged in Michigan. Having a criminal record can hold you back from lots of great opportunities in life, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Reach out to The Kronzek Firm to find out how you can fight for your future. The first step is to read about expungements on our web site and if you think you qualify, fill out that form and submit to Attorney Stephanie Service in our office for review.