Paul Sableman

Missouri Governor Signs Bill Allowing Expungement of Most Cannabis Convictions

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed a bill into law last week that will allow the expungement of the majority of the state’s marijuana convictions, according to an official press release from the governor’s office.

According to the release, Senate Bill 588 “will make it easier for former offenders who have completed their sentences, paid restitution, and become law-abiding citizens to petition the court to close their criminal records from the public.” SB 588 will allow almost all cannabis-related convictions to be expunged, provided that individuals can still prove they have not been charged with other misdemeanors or felony charges since the completion of their probation period (or sentence).

“Missourians who have paid their debt to society and become law-abiding citizens deserve a chance to get a job and support their families,” said Gov. Nixon. “This bill represents a reasonable, balanced approach and I’m pleased to sign it into law today.”

In this case, expungement is not absolute and permanent — instead, the records will be pulled from public view, but will remain available to law enforcement and employers who are entitled to such information under state or federal law.

Non-violent marijuana felonies will require seven years of good behavior to be removed. Misdemeanor marijuana offenses will need only three years.

A total of seven bills were signed last week by Gov. Nixon, the majority of which focused on updating and streamlining Missouri’s judicial processes.

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