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New Opportunities for Expungement of Marijuana Offenses

In October 2020, Michigan passed the Clean Slate legislation, expanding the opportunities for expungement of certain felonies and misdemeanors, including a new, automatic expungement process. This legislation has made many marijuana-related misdemeanors and felonies eligible for expungement, either through application or automatic expungement. The new legislation also accelerates the expungement process and allows for more offenses to be expunged than previously allowed.

What Does Expungement Mean for Marijuana Offenses? 

Marijuana-related offenses that are expunged would no longer appear on the offender’s public record or background check and the offender would not be required to disclose the offense on applications for employment or housing, and the expunged offense will not prevent the offender from receiving federal college financial aid. However, law enforcement will continue to keep a non-public record of the offense and offenders are still required to pay any court-ordered restitution related to the offense. These expunged violations may still be considered “prior offenses” and for subsequent drug offenses.

What Offenses Are Included?

This legislation allows for the expungement of misdemeanor offenses that would not have been illegal if committed after December 6, 2018, when recreational marijuana was legalized in Michigan. These offenses include:

  • Possession of Marijuana
  • Use of Marijuana
  • Sale of paraphernalia
  • Growing charges

Marijuana-related convictions that involve minors or that have a maximum sentence of life in prison are not eligible for expungement under the Clean Slate legislation.

Previously, expungement was limited to one felony and two misdemeanors in an offender’s lifetime. Under the Clean Slate Act, individuals can have up to two marijuana-related felonies expunged in their lifetime, and several marijuana-related misdemeanors.