Populous Arizona County Files To Expunge Cannabis Arrest Records

Arizona is on track to moving in a favorable instructions and righting the wrongs of the War on Drugs. Cannabis-related arrest records can wreak enduring damage—thwarting task chances, realestate or even trainee loan programs.

On March 7 of this year, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) released a press release, revealing the growth of efforts to help the regional neighborhood through expungement of marijuana arrest records, as well as a mathematical turningpoint for the area.

As of that date, MCAO had submitted over 10,000 petitions to expunge eligible closed cases including marijuana. The bulk—over 7,000 of those petitions—were submitted in cases dealtwith by the workplace consideringthat2016 MCAO agents pointedout that they minimal the filings to about 500 a week to prevent frustrating the court system. 

This is most mostlikely a response to the expungement program’s sluggish start last year, however the MCAO is positive the procedure is fine-tuned and well underway, and that they will be able to make substantial development. 

Individuals in Arizona with specific cannabis-related convictions on their records endedupbeing eligible to have their criminal records expunged, or cleared. The arrangements are offered under Proposition 207, or the Arizona Safe and Smart Act. The procedure started numerous months earlier.

Starting the day the brand-new law went into result, the MCAO started proactively filing petitions to expunge the convictions for eligible individuals who had formerly been charged. These petitions consistedof people foundedguilty of specific cannabis-related offenses and people charged with a marijuana offense who effectively finished a diversion program however still had an arrest and termination on their criminal record.

“I think that the will of the citizens must be carriedout as effectively as possible,” stated Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel. “My workplace is working vigilantly to continue to determine those cases and help people who have a right to have their records expunged under this citizen authorized law.”

The MCAO pointedout “resource constraints,” requiring them to focuson the most current cases. 

In addition to filing for expungement proactively, MCAO likewise produced a public site where people can ask districtattorneys to evaluation their case. If they are qualified, a MCAO agent can file a petition to expunge their conviction.  

KTAR reports that those who were jailed, charged, foundedguilty or acquitted of particular cannabis-related offenses were able to use online to the Superior Court to have their records removed. There is no cost to file the petition.

Per the law, expungement petitions are minimal to 3 offenses:

  • Possessing, consuming or transferring 2.5 ounces or less of marijuana—of which not more than 12.5 grams is in the type of concentrate.
  • Possessing, carrying, cultivating or processing no more than 6 marijuana plants at the filer’s main house for individual usage.
  • Possessing, utilizing or transferring stuff “related to the growing, manufacture, processing or intake of marijuana.”

If a demand for expungement is given by the court, the case file and law enforcement records associated to the charge will be sealed and not offered to the public.

The MCAO offering the following numbers to emphasize the updates:

  • Since July 12, 2021, MCAO submitted 10,607 expungement petitions in closed cases, consistingof 1,094 petitions created from 1,340 queries started through the public site. 
  • The workplace has likewise reacted to roughly 1,186 petitions submitted by people, either themselves or through an lawyer.

Immediately following the accreditation of the election, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office submitted movements to dismiss pending cases in Maricopa County impacted by the brand-new law. 

The MCAO proactively submitted to dismiss or drop over 5,000 charges associated to the utilize, transport or growing of adult-use marijuana.



Benjamin M. Adams is Staff Writer at High Times, and hasactually composed for Vice, Forbes, HuffPost, The Advocate, Culture, and lotsof other publications. He holds a Bachelor of Communication from Southern New Hampshire University.

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