Blog

 
     

Expansion of Marijuana Legalization Gives Expungement Procedures New Importanc

By Michael Klazema on 8/9/2018

Laws that allow for the legal sale of recreational marijuana are now on the books in nine states (and Washington, D.C.), with Michigan poised to vote on its own recreational ballot measure this November. Several other states are currently considering ballot measures to legalize medical marijuana. According to a report from local station WKBN-27, a legislator in Pennsylvania has also put forward a bill to create a taxed market for recreational marijuana. 

Although there has been little action at the federal level regarding de-scheduling cannabis, the tide has turned toward legalization as almost every state engages in discussion on the issue.

As the illegality of cannabis use is wiped away, something else remains: the legacy of marijuana's place in the War on Drugs in the form of arrests and convictions for petty possession and sale. Some individuals may have a record based solely on a paraphernalia charge. Given the barriers to employment that a criminal record creates, state governments have increasingly begun to realize legalization is not enough: they must act regarding expungement, too.

Rhode Island recently passed a law aimed at easing rehabilitative efforts for those with marijuana charges in their past. By petitioning the court, an affected individual can have the charges sealed and removed from their record. Such records typically do not show up on criminal history reports, such as the county-level check or state level reports offered by backgroundchecks.com. In this way, applicants can present a clean slate to potential employers free from the stigma associated with a now-legal activity.

Several states with legal cannabis, including Massachusetts and Oregon, use a similar method for expungements. Some question requiring individuals to be proactive about petitioning for expungement. Given shifting attitudes towards the substance and growing legalization, automatic expungement has been floated as a reliable alternative. 

 

San Francisco and San Diego counties in California have rolled out automatic record sealing. Misdemeanor and even some felony marijuana convictions will be expunged, wiping away the legacy of past enforcement actions without additional steps required from those convicted.

 

For now, this approach remains the exception rather than the rule. Until more states make a move to embrace automatic expungement of marijuana-related offenses in the wake of legalization, the burden to clear the record remains on the individual. 

 

Depending on the locale, other types of non-violent offenses may be eligible for expungement, which can open new doors to employment opportunities. backgroundchecks.com offers a gateway to assistance with expungement efforts through our partnership with MyClearStart. Learn more about your eligibility status, the procedures your state has in place to facilitate expungement, and the next steps you should take to secure a second chance. 


Tag Cloud
Categories
Recent Posts

Latest News

  • December 11 The Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General criticized a migrant youth detention center on the border for not running the proper background checks. Federal law requires the facility to screen all employees with FBI fingerprint checks.
  • December 06 In a bid to combat money laundering and illicit funding sources for terrorists flowing through the country's real estate sector, Singapore's government now mandates background checks for buyers purchasing properties prior to development.
  • December 04 What is a reference check? How does it vary from a work history check? We explore these questions and others.
  • December 04 Chicago Public Schools has dismissed hundreds of employees, coaches, vendors, and volunteers based on background check findings. The district recently vowed to re-check the majority of its 68,000 employees after a Chicago Tribune investigation revealed holes in its background check policies.
  • November 29 Striving to create a safer environment more conducive to productive training and leadership development, the Army has recently moved to adopt a uniform policy of background checks for certain roles. 
  • November 27 For hiring managers to verify the information provided on a resume, verification is essential.  Such is the purpose of employment history background checks.
  • November 27 California‚Äôs biggest public school district is waiving the cost of volunteer background checks. The move is meant to encourage more family - and community members to get involved with the school district.
  • November 22 Contractors play an important role in the workforce, delivering services to both individuals and organizations. Vetting contractors for suitability continues to be a challenge, as two recent articles prove.
  • November 21 When it comes to background and pre-employment checks, it can be instructive to look at the characteristics of the ten most massive U.S. employers.
  • November 21

    Verification checks are a powerful way to assess how truthful a job candidate has been on his or her application or resume. These checks can verify work history, education verification, professional licenses, and favorable personal qualities.