Marijuana Legalization and Record Clearing in 2022
Ohio State Legal Studies Research Paper No. 747
Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, December 2022
14 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2022
Date Written: December 19, 2022
In the spring of 2021, we reported on an “unprecedented period for policymaking at the intersection of marijuana legalization and criminal record reform,” with four states legalizing marijuana possession and providing criminal record relief for past convictions along with a variety of social equity provisions. This trend has continued into 2022 with four additional states (Connecticut, Maryland, Missouri, and Rhode Island) adopting similar record-clearing provisions in connection with adult-use cannabis legalization. All four states made at least some relief automatic, removing the burden of a criminal record from many individuals while raising the bar on standards for marijuana record relief nationwide. This report summarizes the cannabis-specific record sealing and expungement provisions enacted since publication of our earlier report in the spring of 2021 in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri and Rhode Island. Additionally, we provide a 50-state classification and description of marijuana-specific record clearing statutes.
Keywords: Marijuana and cannabis legalization, marijuana reform, record sealing, record expungement, record clearing, automatic expungement, petition-based record sealing, collateral consequences, criminal record, social equity
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