Tens of thousands of Connecticut residents line up to clear record after state’s Democratic governor announced Tuesday that he’s expunging a low-level cannabis possession conviction.
Governor Ned Lamont’s office said in a press release That record will be “completely or partially cleared” in about 44,000 cases next month by “automatic clearing methods.”
“On January 1, the cannabis legalization bill passed last year will automatically cancel low-level cannabis convictions for thousands of people in Connecticut,” Lamont said. statement“Employers in Connecticut, in particular, are trying to fill hundreds of thousands of job openings, so old beliefs about low-level cannabis possession shouldn’t keep them from pursuing their career, housing, occupational, and educational aspirations.” it won’t.”
The expungement is part of the state’s year-old cannabis law. did.
The state said it had received more than 15,000 applications for dispensing licenses by the May deadline.
Legal adult sales are expected to begin next year.
Like other states and cities that have lifted marijuana bans, Connecticut’s new law contains an important social justice element, giving individuals in areas most adversely affected by long-term drug policies the first It included provisions for awarding retail licenses and clearing records. of people with certain marijuana-related beliefs.
“That is why I am introducing legislation and working hard with our legislative partners and other stakeholders to create safe, regulated markets that prioritize public health, public safety, social justice and fairness. We have created a comprehensive framework for the economy, which will help eliminate unregulated and dangerous markets and support new growth sectors of the economy that create jobs,” Lamont signed into law last year. said after. “Allow adult possession of cannabis, regulate its sale and content, train police officers on the latest techniques to detect and prevent driving deficiencies, and expunge the criminal records of those who have committed certain cannabis crimes. By doing so, not only are we effectively modernizing the law, but by tackling injustice, we are keeping Connecticut economically competitive with its neighbors.”
On Tuesday, Lamont’s office detailed how the deletion would work in practice.
“Residents whose records have been expunged can tell employers, landlords, and schools that they were never convicted,” the release said, also providing details on eligibility for expungement.
“Convictions for possession of less than four ounces of non-narcotic, non-hallucinogenic substances imposed between January 1, 2000 and September 30, 2015 shall be automatic on January 1, 2023. It will be removed as a matter of course,” the governor’s office said. “People included in this section of the law need not do anything to make these convictions eligible for expungement,” it added.
the governor’s office said “The Clean Slate automated erasure system is expected to be fully implemented in the second half of 2023,” and its implementation includes “a significant amount of effort to allow criminal justice agencies to send and receive data to determine who can erase a crime.” We need an information technology upgrade, we will update our system of record.”
Other offenses may also be removed, including the following, but individuals must file petitions with the court: , and from October 1, 2015 to June 30, 2021. Conviction of possession with intent to use drug paraphernalia for cannabis imposed before July 1, 2021. [and] Conviction of Violation…manufacturing, selling, possessing for sale, or administering or administering to others any cannabis-type substance imposed prior to July 1, 2021 involving a quantity of 4 ounces or For personal use if less than 6 plants grown in a private home. ”