Marijuana Misdemeanor Expungement Act

In the ongoing debate over federal marijuana law, criminal justice reforms have concentrated on felonies due to the seriousness of the charges and accompanying punishments. This felony focus overlooks the problems facing those with records for misdemeanors and other low-level violations of federal marijuana law, which often carry collateral consequences that overshadow any official punishment. Depending on the jurisdiction, misdemeanor marijuana convictions have restricted educational aid, housing assistance, occupational licenses, driver’s licenses, even foster parenting. In most jurisdictions, employers can deny job offers or promotions based on marijuana misdemeanor convictions, even old ones—and in some places, employment can be denied based on a misdemeanor marijuana arrest without an ensuing conviction.