Arizona’s new recreational marijuana law, Prop 207, contains a provision that allows for the expungement of cannabis offenses from people’s criminal records. This fall, Arizona State University’s new Post-Conviction Clinic will start helping eligible people expunge their marijuana-related convictions.
The clinic has partnered with Arizona Justice Project and they will be evaluating criminal cases for eligibility, preparing paperwork and potentially litigating cases.
“In Arizona, there is no real expungement,” Randal McDonald, supervising legal attorney at the clinic, told ASU News. “So once you have a criminal record, there’s not really a way you can do anything about it. … And so this is kind of a first for Arizona in that the charges are expunged and it’s as if it never happened and the state is not supposed to impose any kind of penalty on you for this. So I think if you had certain civil rights taken away as a result of this, you should automatically get those back, assuming that there are no other criminal charges that you have.”
If a person had a simple marijuana possession charge, the process should be straightforward.
“We help them fill out the paperwork so that they can file it on their own,” McDonald said. “I think for the majority of people, that’ll be it. The state will not object. The court will do its thing. And they’ll get the thing expunged.”
Contact the Arizona Justice Project at 602-496-0286 or firstname.lastname@example.org for referral to the ASU clinic.