Missouri Has Expunged 15,000+ Cannabis Crimes Since Adult-Use Reforms

Missouri’s legal system has expunged more than 15,000 cannabis misdemeanors and felonies since voters approved the state’s adult-use legalization proposal last year.

Full story after the jump.

Following adult-use cannabis legalization in Missouri, the state has granted more than 15,000 expungements of nonviolent misdemeanor and felony cannabis crimes, KMOV reports. Under the state’s voter-approved adult-use cannabis law, possession of up to three ounces is legal for adults and all eligible misdemeanors for individuals who completed their sentences must be expunged automatically by June 8, while low-level felonies must be expunged by December 8.  

Charges that included selling cannabis to a minor, violence, or driving under the influence are not eligible for relief. Individuals currently incarcerated for cannabis convictions, including past misdemeanors and Class E and D felonies involving possession of under three pounds, can ask the court to vacate the sentence, which would lead to an immediate release and the expungement of the record.

Individuals on probation or parole will have their records automatically expunged and all prior Class A, B, C, or D felonies for possession over three pounds will be expunged automatically after the person completes their sentence. 

In order to complete the expungements required under the law, the Missouri Office of State Courts Administration has submitted to the legislature a supplemental budget request for this fiscal year, asking for about $2.5 million in additional funds to cover overtime for clerks and hire additional information technology professionals, according to a KCUR report. In the request, the agency said it would also need $2.2 million in personal services dollars “for the increased workload of the courts, utilizing temporary staff and overtime.”  

The Court Administration said it would incur costs for expungements, sentences automatically vacated within specified timeframes, and creation of a special index of expunged cases. 

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