Arizona & Louisiana Move to Further Expungement for Past Cannabis Crimes

Trichromes write

Arizona’s Maricopa County, which includes Phoenix, Arizona, or the third-largest prosecutorial agency in the country, recently revealed that 10,600 plus petitions had been filed since a new law decriminalized possession of up to an ounce of cannabis went into effect last summer.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office stated it had prioritized expunging the agency’s most recent cannabis cases during the previous seven months. Approximately 7,000 expungement petitions were submitted for offenses that were filed after 2016.

Prosecutors have been filing no more than 500 petitions every week, according to the MCAO, to avoid overburdening the court system.

Public queries can be conducted through the MCAO website, where residents can ask if their case qualifies for an expungement and have produced approximately 1,000 of the agency’s petitions.

Maricopa County has been chastised in the past for how it prosecutes drug offenses, particularly when it comes to the inequalities in how various populations are punished.

In a report produced in 2020 by the American Civil Liberties Union, it was shown that Hispanic defendants in the county were sentenced to roughly two months longer on average than white defendants.

The state of Louisiana is also considering its cannabis crime expungement bill, with Senate Bill 221 seeking to decriminalize possession of up to 14 grams of cannabis.

If approved, the measure would allow persons who have been wrongfully imprisoned for cannabis offenses that are no longer illegal in the state to make a move for a resentencing. If enacted, the measure would take effect on August 1, 2022.

For violations committed after 8/1/21, current Louisiana state legislation stipulates that possession of cannabis in an amount of 14 grams or less is punishable by a fine of $100.

With various states reconsidering how they view cannabis and historical crimes, do you think more states should consider the judicial system’s impact on individuals’ lives?


Primary Sponsor

Get Connected

Karma Koala Podcast

Top Marijuana Blog