Is Marijuana Eligible for Expungement in Michigan?
Is marijuana eligible for expungement in Michigan? The answer is yes. Thanks to a new set of expungement laws that took effect in April 2021, called “Clean Slate,” some marijuana offenses are now eligible for expungement.
A majority of those people arrested were convicted of a misdemeanor or felony. Most were placed on probation or parole and many, many others had their personal freedom taken from them because they were incarcerated.
Millions of dollars had been directly and indirectly paid in fines and costs.
Employment opportunities were lost and careers ruined.
The worst part? Marijuana prohibition has disproportionately affected African Americans, mostly men, by more than three times that of non-minorities. Think about that. Not only did it make absolutely no common sense to outlaw marijuana, it overly penalized an entire race of people whom had already been disadvantaged in our criminal justice system and in life.
Quite frankly, marijuana prohibition has been the worst federally public policy decision since slavery.
Famous Examples of Non-violent Marijuana Arrests
John Sinclair was originally from Flint, but soon after made Ann Arbor his home. He was a poet, musician, writer and marijuana user. Like some marijuana users, he sold small amounts to his friends to make his habit more affordable.
Possibly for political reasons (he was a founder of the White Panthers), law enforcement repeatedly investigated him using undercover (UC) officers purchasing very small amounts of marijuana.
In 1969, for the act of selling two joints to an UC, he was sentenced to prison for 10 years in Michigan. He served over two years before his sentenced was overturned for cruel and unusual punishment.
While this case may have been an extreme, every conviction and sentence to probation, jail or prison for marijuana is constitutionally cruel and unusual punishment.
Thankfully, the Act decriminalized most offenses involving marijuana. What it did not do was expunge prior criminal convictions nor commute the sentences for those convicted of marijuana related offenses.
Despite Being Legal, Michiganders Are Still Incarcerated for Marijuana Offenses
Despite the fact that marijuana is now legal in Michigan, reversing the worst public policy in a century, there are thousands of people currently serving sentences.
Every day that goes by to them is like hammer striking the nail that remains lodged in their back.
Something has to be done about this immediately.
Our legislature doesn’t have the power to commute sentences. Governor Whitmer has to take action with her power of commutation.
Attorney Morris is trial lawyer who has been providing high-quality legal representation in the areas of state and federal criminal defense for more than 20 years. He’s known for his trial preparation by fellow attorneys, judges and clients alike. As a trial attorney, he’s dedicated to attaining justice in every case, and is always prepared to successfully take on complex legal issues. Barton and his law firm pride themselves on obtaining results for their clients that other attorneys cannot.
Not only does Barton Morris have extensive experience, he also engages in continuing legal education to provide the highest quality legal services. Barton has received specialized scientific training through the American Chemical Society, and is the only forensic lawyer-scientist in Michigan. He attended the prestigious Trial Lawyers College and serves on its Alumni Association Board of Directors. Barton Morris is also a board member of several distinguished legal associations including the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys, and the DUI Defense Lawyer’s Association Justice Foundation. He’s also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and has graduated from their National Criminal Defense Trial College in Macon, Georgia.
Barton Morris is consistently chosen as a Top Lawyer of Metro Detroit and for DUI/OWI and criminal defense by DBusiness Magazine and Hour Magazine. He has also been chosen as a Super Lawyer in Criminal Defense.