Though other states have allowed the expunging of prior cannabis possession convictions after adopting new lenient marijuana laws, few have been ripping and exhaling them with the steel-lunged efficiency of Connecticut courts.
Judges in the CT have granted over 80% of requests to have possession charges wiped since 2011, when the state decriminalized possession of less than a half-ounce.
Out of 39 such petitions, 32 were permitted, and 8 of those were approved by a high court ruling. Another 8 still swim in judicial limbo at the moment.
More petitions are expected to be filed soon. “The biggest problem is that not many people are aware. Some people aren’t aware of what their rights are,” Bloomfield attorney Aaron Romano told the Associated Press.
A Supreme Court ruling in March made the expunging possible. That case involved Nicholas Menditto, who was denied by the state of Connecticut the right to have his two marijuana possessions erased. Romano then took the case to the state Supreme Court, which granted Menditto the right to have his charges wiped from the record.
Menditto told AP that his motive was to help others in a similar predicament who might have difficulty finding a job or public housing because of a past marijuana conviction that would only entail a slap on the wrist under current laws.
“It benefits the thousands of other people out there who only have these small marijuana convictions on their record,” he said. “It’s important. I’m just happy I’m helping other people.”
Image via Bryan Chaffin/The Mac Observer