Officials in Missouri hope to resolve more than 100,000 low-level cannabis possession cases over the next year after voters approved a cannabis legalization measure on Election Day, KHQA reports. Under the law, such charges will be automatically expunged.
Kathryn Jamboretz, communication director for Legal MO ’22, told KHQA that “right off the top” money derived from adult-use cannabis sales will be used for expungements.
“…That’s to do all the back-end paperwork and then after that it will be split into three buckets, these are great things for Missouri. Veterans’ services, things like rides and therapy. Public defenders, who are so severely underfunded across the state. And then finally to drug treatment and counseling. So, we are really pleased with the amount of money this will raise though sales tax.” — Jamboretz to KHQA
Officials estimate legalization will bring in $40 million annually to state coffers.
Jamboretz described the criminal justice reforms in the measure as “truly life-changing.”
“These low-level marijuana possessions follow you your entire life. For every job application, you must disclose it. It can really hold down your economic prospects,” she said in the report. “And it’s really taken a toll on underserved communities. The number of wages that are being held down by these low-level convictions holding people back.”
She indicated the expungement process will start on December 8.
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