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Massachusetts Bill Would Allow Some Cannabis Convictions to be Expunged

A criminal justice reform bill making its way through the Massachusetts legislature would allow individuals convicted of cannabis possession to completely expunge the record, according to a MassLive report. The House provision is part of a broader criminal justice reform package that includes language allowing citizens with otherwise clear records to expunge some offenses 10 years after conviction, and after any period of probation or incarceration is complete.

Under current state law, individuals convicted of cannabis possession can petition a judge to have their record sealed; however sealed records are still available to law enforcement officers, courts, and some licensing agencies.

According to the report, expungement would be available for juvenile convictions; convictions for a single crime committed between the age of 18 and 21; criminal charges that were adjudicated without a conviction; erroneous convictions; and for charges that are no longer criminal, such as cannabis possession.

The state Senate has already passed a version of criminal justice reform, and the House version is set to be amended before being sent to a bi-cameral legislative committee which will come up with a compromise bill that will be reintroduced and voted on by both houses.

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