New Michigan Bills Would Help People Convicted Of Marijuana Offenses
Michigan lawmakers have introduced two new pieces of legislation that would help people convicted of marijuana-related offenses get out of prison and clear their records.
The bills were filed in both the state Senate and House on Tuesday.
The House proposal would “provide for the release of prisoners convicted of certain offenses from imprisonment”—namely those convicted for the “use, possession or distribution” of marijuana—and also establish a system through which those incarcerated for cannabis-related offenses can appeal their convictions.
On the Senate side, separate legislation would enable individuals convicted for certain marijuana offenses to get their records “set aside,” according to the bill text.
That bill states that the change to Michigan’s penal code would only apply “if the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act is not approved by a majority of the qualified electors of this state voting on the question at an election to be held on the November regular election date in 2018.” Which, of course, it did pass—56-44 percent.
The newly proposed legislation comes just days before Michigan’s adult-use cannabis system goes into effect on December 6.
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Michigan Governor-elect Gretchen Whitmer (D) has also talked about the need to free and expunge the records of people who’ve been convicted of offenses that have been legalized under state law. She’s said that she would support legislation to that effect, or accomplish it through executive action.
“I think that the people of Michigan have said that for conduct that would now be legal, no one should bear a lifelong record for that conduct,” Whitmer said shortly after the midterm elections.
Here’s When Michigan’s Marijuana Legalization Law Goes Into Effect
Photo courtesy of Nicholas C. Morton.