Montana officials are close to debuting a new drug court that’s sole purpose will be reviewing and deleting past cannabis convictions. According to the state’s new recreational use legalization legislation, those with past cannabis convictions may petition for either a resentencing of their convictions or expungement of their records. Administrators assert that having a court dedicated to reviewing these petitions will expedite the expungement process.
The special court is anticipated to be functional by early 2022. Montana is one of the numerous states that explicitly allows those with cannabis-related crimes to have their records either sealed or expunged. In recent months, officials in various states – including California, New York, Virginia, and New Jersey – have moved to delete the records of over two million people with prior marijuana-related convictions.
Around 60% of Montana voters on Election Day decided to favor ballot measures legalizing the recreational use and retail sale of marijuana. Terms in the law permitting those ages 21 and up to possess one ounce of cannabis or to privately farm up to four fully grown marijuana plants for personal use, was put into effect on January 1, 2021. The sale of cannabis products amongst retailers is set to debut on January 1, 2022.
With the special court’s implementation, people who were wrongfully convicted, whether for having marijuana and some smoking accessories or even having a joint; people can finally get their records cleared. Thanks to marijuana legalization and cannabis reform, citizens of Montana can enjoy the health and therapeutic benefits of marijuana without reprimand from law enforcement. Those with a history of marijuana convictions will be able to move on with their lives without a conviction looming over their heads.