Monday, February 18, 2019
"High Time for Criminal Justice Reform: Marijuana Expungement Statutes in States with Legalized or Decriminalized Marijuana Laws"
The title of this post is the title of this new paper by Alana Rosen now available via SSRN. Here is the paper's abstract:
As states continue to legalize or decriminalize recreational marijuana, there is a chasm within our society. One segment of the population can use, possess, transport, and cultivate marijuana without fear of prosecution. Another segment of the population suffers from the collateral consequences of previous marijuana-related offenses. This Article argues that any state that enacts marijuana legalization or decriminalization statutes should automatically include an expungement provision that clears the criminal record of individuals who engaged in activities now deemed lawful under the new legalization and decriminalization laws.
This Article proposes model language for an expungement statute that serves as a guide for legislators, judges, and attorneys. The proposed expungement statute will help individuals obtain access to opportunities and benefits now denied them because of their marijuana-related criminal records including employment, professional licenses, financial aid, public housing, travel abroad, firearms’ purchases, the right to vote, and jury service. Changes to the law will also benefit communities that have been disproportionately targeted by the War on Drugs and marijuana prohibition.
Regular readers surely know from my repeated mention of my article, "Leveraging Marijuana Reform to Enhance Expungement Practices," that I am especially interested in how marijuana reform is now intersecting with criminal justice concerns and should advance criminal justice reform efforts. I am so pleased to see another article on this topic, and I hope to soon see many more. I do not think this issue can get too much attention.