SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) — The clock is ticking on a provision of Missouri Amendment 3. It has 6 months to complete. We’re talking about automatically deleting offense records of past arrests and convictions for marijuana crimes. Our viewer Michael wants to know; Are Old Marijuana Crime (Non-Violent) Charges Really Being Erased?
Missouri voters legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older in the midterm elections.
Part of that change included the elimination of marijuana-related offenses. Courts have six months to remove thousands of marijuana-related crime records. But there are exceptions. If the marijuana offense involved violence, it would not be erased. Even when it comes to distribution to minors, it will not be deleted. Or, when it comes to driving under the influence of marijuana, forget it.
As far back as the deletion goes, this shouldn’t be a problem. But it will take time.
“It’s not as simple as flipping a switch for the courts to do this,” explained ACLU Director of Integrated Advocacy Tony Rothert. “That doesn’t mean they don’t have to do it. But it is not easy.”
“Courts prioritize misdemeanors first, then lower-level crimes, then higher-level crimes, but it goes all the way back,” added Legal Missouri’s John Payne. “There is no time limit, even if it was a crime from 40 years ago, it should still be erased.”
“Up to three pounds should be automatically deleted, but amounts in excess of that will very likely also be deleted, but will not be automatically deleted,” explained Missouri NORML Attorney Dan Viets. “The defendant should consult an attorney specializing in criminal defense to obtain clearance from the courts in cases involving large amounts.”
Administrative offenses are to be abolished by June next year. Marijuana crimes will last up to a year. The courts should notify you. However, this notification will be sent to the last known address. Think about it if your crime happened 20 years ago and you’ve moved.
Another note: Viets said people who are in a correctional facility or on probation for marijuana offenses must go through a court process to have those charges removed from their criminal records.
Back to our viewer question: are really old marijuana felony (non-violent) charges being deleted? Yes. If they are not deleted within the timeframe we provide, you can expect the matter to go to court.
To report a correction or typo, please send an email [email protected]
Copyright 2022 KY3. All rights reserved.