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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Connecticut has overturned more than 43,000 cannabis convictions


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Connecticut officially launched its adult legal cannabis industry this week, along with The white page Laws that overturned low-level cannabis convictions for nearly 43,000 residents before the legal sale began Tuesday.

“I’m really excited because I’ve had weed before, and it’s not fun,” a customer at one of the state’s first legal dispensaries said yesterday. “It shouldn’t have been a crime,” he said, “and I’m glad people less fortunate than me[got this].” With paid legal support, he said he was able to get out and live a normal life, adding, “I just hope[others]can get back on their feet and do a good job.”

Connecticut Legal cannabis sales began Tuesday (January 10), a year and a half after Governor Ned Lamont (D-) signed SB 1201 into law. The bill outlined how Connecticut’s adult-use cannabis industry would operate, including property rights provisions and obligations to erase the cannabis registry, called the Clean Slate System, which is scheduled to expand in 2023.

Connecticut residents can Check deletion eligibility and learn more about what to expect here.

Related

Deletion: what does it mean and how do I get it?

What are the clean slate laws?

Recreational cannabis legislation in Connecticut went into effect July 1, 2021, with personal possession of cannabis legal — it took an additional 1.5 years for adult use sales to begin. Part of the provisions of SB 1201 includes creating a file Social Justice Council For the state, allocate half of industry licenses to applicants who qualify with equity, and commit to wiping out low-level cannabis convictions, such as possession of small amounts of cannabis and paraphernalia.

The Clean Slate Rules describe how residents can verify their eligibility for surveying, petition to be cleared if they are not automatically surveyed, and maintain an automated system. Connecticut State Government website It now hosts the Clean Slate module.

How would the deletion process work in Connecticut?

Automatic erasures for convictions include convictions for possession of less than four ounces of cannabis between January 1, 2000, and September 30, 2015; Those who have these records do not need to go through any legal process to qualify for deletion. Additional convictions can be expunged by petitioning the Supreme Court. These include:

  • Convictions for possession of less than or equal to four ounces of cannabis or a cannabis-derived substance prior to January 1, 2000, and between October 1, 2015, and June 30, 2021.
  • Convictions for possession with intent to use cannabis drug paraphernalia imposed prior to July 1, 2021.
  • Convictions of violations prior to July 1, 2021, due to producing, selling, possessing with intent to sell, or giving/administrating a cannabis-derived substance to another person if the amount in question is less than four ounces or six plants grown within the person’s home for personal use.

“Especially as employers in Connecticut seek to fill hundreds of thousands of job openings, an outdated conviction for low-level cannabis possession should not deter anyone from pursuing their professional, residential, vocational, and educational aspirations.” Governor Lamont said in a press release.

Clearing records is only the beginning

Standard sweeping has become popular in states where cannabis has been recently legalized. A report from the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis estimates that legal cannabis can help Increase the state’s GDP by $1 billion in the next five years. The ways in which the state transacts with and subsidizes its equity operators determines who benefits from the revenue that legal sales bring in.

“Surveying is great, but now you have this business taking off. I think Connecticut, like a lot of the early states that legalized cannabis, will see that the people who are hardest hit by the illegal cannabis system are not going to be the beneficiaries of the business side of legalization… hopefully We are working with the state to provide the technical support that social equity, cannabis entrepreneurs, and companies need to be as successful as possible.”

Dr. Fred McKinney, founder of economics firm BJM Solutions and part of the Alliance for Cannabis Equity

How do CT’s social justice provisions, specifically slashing, compare to other recently ratified states like NY, NJ, MA?

Legal cannabis started in the American West, but the East Coast has implemented equity and social justice measures into their cannabis legislation rather than addressing it after the fact. Even in legal states, those with prior nonviolent cannabis convictions still face stigma and discrimination in housing, employment, government assistance, and even child custody.

When former New York Governor Cuomo (D) signed the Marijuana Regulation and Tax Act into law in the spring of 2021, it included provisions for automatic erasure. before 2019, New York does not have a formal erasure process. The following convictions have been or will be automatically expunged without the need for any action:

  • Convictions for possession of up to 16 ounces or sale of up to 25 grams of cannabis
  • Unlawful possession of marijuana in the first and/or second degree
  • Criminal possession of marijuana in the third and/or fourth degree
  • Fifth-degree criminal sale of marijuana
  • Personal cannabis cultivation and home possession
  • The illegal sale of cannabis

Certain conditions involving cannabis and/or cannabis concentrates also qualify:

  • First class lounging
  • Criminal possession of a controlled substance in the fifth or seventh degree

New Yorkers can tell if they Eligible for a delisting petition here. According to Gothamist, New York has crossed out at least 400,000 records Since the laws entered into force.

New Jersey has also included delisting clauses when legalizing cannabis, which is enforced by an automated system. But these are limited to low-level offenses of:

  • Distribute marijuana less than 1 ounce or hashish less than 5 grams.
  • Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana or more than 5 grams of hashish.
  • Possession of 50 grams or less of marijuana or 5 grams or less of cannabis.
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia and being under the influence of a controlled substance will also be removed if it relates to cannabis

Gothamist reported that New Jersey has written off more than 360,000 writedowns.

While Massachusetts legalized cannabis in 2016, it did not create or include provisions for automatic erasure. For those who qualify, they are He can apply to have his record closed or permanently erased through state court.

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