Minnesota Set to Expunge 60k Cannabis-Related Misdemeanors by May

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Records indicated that the state will be ready to expunge more than 60,000 misdemeanor cannabis convictions in May under last year’s adult-use legalization law.

Full story after the jump.

Minnesota is set to expunge more than 60,000 misdemeanor cannabis-related criminal records by May, which is ahead of the initial August timeline, the Star-Tribune reports, citing data from the state Bureau of Criminal Records. The expungements are required under the state’s adult-use cannabis law passed last year and the Minnesota Judicial Branch has until May 13 to object to the action. 

A separate Cannabis Expungement Board has also been established to review cannabis-related felonies on a case-by-case basis. In an interview with the Star-Tribune Jim Rowader, executive director of the board, noted that “Black and Brown communities across the country tend to have been arrested at three to four times the rate for cannabis-related crimes” and that the criminal reforms could have “a very significant equitable impact.”  

“There is collateral kind of impact that criminal records have. They can pose barriers to housing, education, employment.” — Rowander to the Star-Tribune 

State officials have identified more than 200,000 eligible felony drug cases for review – not all of them eligible for relief – but Rowander estimates there are at least 25,000 cannabis-related felonies for the board to consider. Convictions that include violence, weapons, or threats are not eligible for expungement under state law.  

Minnesota was the 23rd U.S. state to legalize adult-use cannabis.

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