Connecticut Governor To Expunge Thousands of Cannabis Convictions

Connecticut Governor To Expunge Thousands of Cannabis Convictions
High Times

Tens of thousands of Connecticut residents are in line to have their records cleared after the state’s Democratic governor announced Tuesday that he is expunging low-level cannabis possession convictions. Gov. Ned Lamont’s office said in a press release that records “in approximately 44,000 cases will be fully or partially erased” next month by way of “an automated erasure method.” “On January 1, thousands of people in Connecticut will have low-level cannabis convictions automatically erased due to the cannabis legalization bill we enacted last year,” Lamont said in a statement. “Especially as Connecticut employers seek to fill hundreds of thousands of job openings, an old conviction for low-level cannabis possession should not hold someone back from pursuing their career, housing, professional, and educational aspirations.” The expungements are part of the state’s year-old cannabis law. In June 2021, Lamont signed a bill that legalized recreational cannabis use for adults and established the regulatory framework for a legal marijuana market.  The state said that it received more than 15,000 applications for dispensary licenses prior to the deadline in May.  Legal adult-use sales are expected to begin next year.  As in other states and cities that have lifted the prohibition on pot, Connecticut’s new law contained a significant social justice component, with provisions to award the first retail licenses to individuals from areas most adversely affected by long standing drug policies, and to clear the records of those with certain marijuana-related convictions.  “That’s why I introduced a bill and worked hard with our partners in the legislature and other stakeholders to create a comprehensive framework for a securely regulated market that prioritizes public health, public safety, social justice, and equity. It will help eliminate the dangerous unregulated market and support a new, growing sector of our economy which will create jobs,” Lamont said after…

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