Arizonans who have been charged with minor marijuana offenses can now apply to have their records expunged.
Some people are eager to get started with the procedure.
“I have a charge for possession of cannabis from 2011,” stated Brooks. “I still have that charge on my record.”
Michael Brooks, who was arrested and convicted for marijuana possession when he was 17 years old, is one of perhaps a quarter-million to half-million persons who have had their marijuana-related arrests and convictions expunged from their records.
Brooks is only hoping for a fresh start in life.
Brooks explained that he is expecting a child on December 3rd and looking into purchasing a home.
Arizona Voters Approve Prop 207
Arizona voters approved Proposition 207 in November, making recreational marijuana use legal in the state. However, the statute also includes a clause that allows people like Michael to have a chance at a clean slate.
“Prop 207 dictates that expungements go live on Monday, July 12th,” stated Mike Robinette, Director of NORML.
Robinette continued by saying that people can then apply to have minor marijuana charges wiped from their records.
There are precise standards that a crime must follow for it to be considered for expungement.
“Any conviction or arrest up to 2 and a half ounces of marijuana of which could be 12 and a half grams of concentrate, any and all paraphernalia charges from previous records,” said Robinette. “And lastly, cultivation of six plants or less can also be expunged.”
Brooks’ Possible Expungement
Brooks’ life would be transformed if he were granted an expungement, which would allow him to pursue several goals.
Under the law, he would regain his right to vote, participate in democratic processes, run for public office, possess a handgun, and be eligible for housing and government aid.
“Hopefully, it works out in my favor,” Brooks expressed hope for the future. However, he also wanted to get his social equity license and rebuild his life.
Community members who seek to have their cannabis records expunged can get one-on-one counsel from volunteer attorneys at Nature’s Medicines Dispensary, which is teaming up with Arizona NORML to conduct free legal clinics at the dispensary with one-on-one advice from volunteer attorneys.
According to Brooks, he would like someone to walk him through his experience.
Those who are interested in having their criminal record wiped can now do so by filing a petition.