New Yorkers Attempt to Clear Names for Plant That is Now Legal

New Yorkers Attempt to Clear Names for Plant That is Now Legal
High Times

As adult-use cannabis thrives in New York, some residents say their lives are still ruined due to past cannabis convictions that haunt their records. While programs are in place to clear certain types of records, lawyers worry the state isn’t doing enough. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) passed last year, and under the MRTA, certain people can ask the court to vacate their convictions if they are experiencing “severe or ongoing consequences related to either their conviction or the sentence,” according to the law. To date, the state expunged or suppressed search results for nearly 400,000 cannabis-related convictions. Plus last March, the New York State Cannabis Control Board voted unanimously to propose regulations to allow the first couple hundred retail licenses to be given to people convicted of cannabis-related crimes. Still, certain cases are being denied by county district attorney offices in the state. On June 22, Syracuse.com and NY Cannabis Insider profiled some New York cases involving people who are still trying to clear their name but not finding any luck. In some cases, small details such as the amount of cannabis can make all the difference in the expungement process. Lawyers say everyone with a cannabis-related conviction faces “severe or ongoing consequences.” “I cannot imagine an instance where a prior marijuana conviction does not cause severe or ongoing consequences,” said Wei Hu, an attorney and founder of MRTA Law who is representing two clients as their applications to vacate are being opposed by the Nassau and Dutchess County DA offices. Nassau County DA’s office wrote that due to the amounts of cannabis involved, those particular crimes would still be a crime today. The Dutchess County DA’s office provided a similar argument. But lawyers like Hu say the state isn’t doing enough to erase cannabis convictions from…

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Source : New Yorkers Attempt to Clear Names for Plant That is Now Legal

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