LANSING – A new bill was introduced in the state legislature today that would automatically clear the records of people convicted of marijuana possession or use in Michigan. Senate Bill 416, introduced by Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-Ann Arbor), impacts more than 235,000 people who will no longer have to go through the lengthy and expensive expungement application process.
“Having a marijuana arrest on your record can impact your ability to get a job or even a student loan,” said Michigan Cannabis Industry Association Communications Director Josh Hovey. “This legislation will give back economic opportunities to people who were engaging in what is now a legal activity. We very much appreciate Sen. Irwin’s attention to this important issue and urge the legislature to give Senate Bill 416 its full support.”
Michigan currently has a process that allows individuals to apply for expungement, but only about 6 percent of people participate because of the expense, length of time and uncertainty involved.
Senate Bill 416 also provides expungement opportunities to people convicted of growing or possession with intent to distribute marijuana by allowing judges to expunge their records even if they exceed the current limit of more than two misdemeanors or a single felony.
“Michigan voters overwhelmingly decided last year to legalize marijuana possession, use and sale for all adults 21 and older, so it only makes sense that we stop punishing people for something that is now a perfectly legal,” said Hovey.