Missouri Courts May Miss Marijuana Expungement Deadlines Without More Funding
“It’s a mammoth task. We know it’s an issue in every county and every circuit. And so we’re just trying to slowly figure out what’s the fairest and the most equitable method to proceed.” By Rebecca Rivas, Missouri Independent After three months of looking through old marijuana charges, Boone County Circuit Court Clerk Christy Blakemore—along with clerks and judges around the state—has come to a realization. There’s no quick way to wipe those records clean. And, it’s going to take a lot more money for overtime to go through the mountain of expungements in Boone County by summertime. “It’s just tough to get much progress on it during regular working hours,” Blakemore said. “If we don’t get an additional appropriation [from the state legislature], then I would fear that a lot of us aren’t going to make the deadlines.” A huge selling point for those who voted for marijuana legalization, which appeared on the ballot in November as Amendment 3, was the automatic expungement provision—meaning people who have already served their sentences for past charges don’t have to petition the court and go through a hearing to expunge those charges from their records. The courts must locate their records and make it as if their past marijuana charges never existed. Like other clerks around the state, Blakemore’s team is trying to meet the deadlines outlined in the constitutional amendment: All marijuana-related misdemeanors must be expunged by June 8 and felonies by December 8. State court authorities have asked legislators to approve $2.5 million in a supplemental budget for circuit clerks to be able to pay their employees overtime hours. The House Budget Committee has begun work on the supplemental budget and is expected to pass it sometime after lawmakers return from spring break next week. As they wait for the legislature to approve…
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Source : Missouri Courts May Miss Marijuana Expungement Deadlines Without More Funding
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