Clearing 235,000 marijuana records would not be automatic under new bill – Detroit Free Press

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Gov.-elect Whitmer talks possible clemency for marijuana convictions Detroit Free Press

Low-level marijuana convictions could get cleared under a package of bills expected to be introduced in the state Legislature this week, but people with records will have to jump through some hoops first. 

While some other states that have legalized marijuana for adult recreational use have made expungement automatic, Michigan’s approach would require those with marijuana charges to petition the courts first before their records are cleared.

It’s an approach that has a better chance of passing the Legislature, which has Republican majorities in both the House of Representatives and Senate, said Rep. Graham Filler, R-DeWitt Township.

More: Michigan bills would make more ex-offenders eligible to have criminal records expunged

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“This is a starting point. You have to play the political will game,” he said after a news conference Monday in Detroit that introduced the bills that dealt with a wide range of criminal offenses. “There are still individuals who will vote against any marijuana bills, so you have to be very careful.

“I’m very much about the politics of the possible. If I can get 80% here or 75%, that’s a great start.”

Democrats have introduced legislation that would automatically expunge the records for petty pot crimes, wiping the records for an estimated 235,000 people. And sponsors of those bills introduced this summer hope the new bills will merely be a starting point.

“People who have committed very petty crimes should be able to get rid of those without having to jump through additional hoops, including having to file hundreds of thousands of

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