Massachusetts to expunge convictions for cannabis possession

On Friday (April 13), Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law one of the most wide-ranging reforms to the state’s criminal justice system in years. It will expunge the records of people convicted for the possession of cannabis, which has been legal since the state approved recreational marijuana at the ballot box in 2016.

As more states begin to legalize cannabis, the issue of amnesty for previous offenses is increasingly becoming a priority. In recent months, San Francisco and Seattle are among the cities which have cleared marijuana convictions. Prior convictions—even for minor offenses—can prevent an individual from getting a job, securing a loan, obtaining government assistance and taking the steps necessary to avoid returning to jail.

While the changes will seal prior marijuana convictions from the public record, making them unavailable in situations like employee background checks, the governor emphasized that police will still have access to those files for firearms purchases and jobs that require caregiving.

Massachusetts to expunge convictions for cannabis possession
DENVER, CO. – AUGUST 21: Judge Johnny Barajas listens as George Brady admits that he has been using marijuana again during the Court to Community special docket at the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse in Denver, CO on August 21, 2014. The assistant city attorney told the Judge that George has been using drugs consistently and asked that he be sanctioned and spend a weekend in jail. Barajas tells George to return to court in the morning. (Photo by Craig F. Walker via The Denver Post)

The law which will clear marijuana convictions won near-unanimous support of Massachusetts lawmakers before it went to the governor, having received a 37-0 vote in the state Senate and a 148-5 vote in the House. In addition to changes in the way the state treats drug offenses, the law emphasizes the use of alternatives to prison for young offenders, those with mental health issues and those with substance abuse issues. It raises the minimum age at which someone can be considered criminally responsible for their actions from 7 to 12, loosens restrictions on bail conditions and expands protections for witnesses.

In addition to addressing marijuana convictions, the law addresses the opioid crisis by cracking down on traffickers of synthetic opioids like fentanyl, significantly increases fines for corporate manslaughter (cases in which a company is responsible for a death), and imposes mandatory minimums for those who commit assault against an officer.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)


  1. I like the valuable info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here frequently.
    I am quite certain I’ll learn many new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

  2. Somebody necessarily lend a hand to make significantly posts I might state.
    That is the very first time I frequented your website page and so
    far? I surprised with the analysis you made to create this actual put up extraordinary.
    Wonderful job!

  3. Excellent way of describing, and nice paragraph to take
    information about my presentation topic, which
    i am going to convey in academy.

  4. I am curious to find out what blog platform you are
    utilizing? I’m having some small security problems with my latest site and I
    would like to find something more risk-free.
    Do you have any solutions?

  5. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog
    and I’m impressed! Extremely useful information specifically
    the remaining phase 🙂 I take care of such information a
    lot. I was seeking this particular information for a
    long time. Thanks and best of luck.

  6. Hello there! Do you know if they make any plugins to help with SEO?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains.
    If you know of any please share. Thanks!

  7. Very great post. I simply stumbled upon your blog
    and wanted to say that I’ve really loved browsing your blog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed
    and I am hoping you write again very soon!

  8. Hello There. I discovered your blog the use of msn. That is
    an extremely smartly written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information.
    Thanks for the post. I will definitely return.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.