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Courts are on deadline to expunge nonviolent cannabis cases under Amendment 3

Until June for misdemeanors, until December for felonies
cannabis marijuana expungements
Posted at 5:19 PM, Jan 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-30 18:19:47-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Amendment 3 did more than legalize adult-use cannabis. It also paved the way for people to get their nonviolent cannabis cases expunged.

Expungements are supposed to happen automatically for people not incarcerated or on probation or parole.

Under Amendment 3, the courts have until December 2023 to expunge felony cases and until June 2023 to expunge misdemeanors.

Those still in prison have to petition a judge to have their cases expunged.

Missouri state Supreme Court reports as of January 20, the courts have automatically expunged 3,631 cases so far and that number is even higher now. That doesn't mean over 3,600 people, just cases, with the vast majority being misdemeanors.

As for petitions, the state says as of January 20, about 16 petitions have been filed in 13 counties. That number is higher by now, too.

This takes some work in the circuit courts. The Jackson County circuit court said they first prioritized the 42 felony and misdemeanor cases of people on probation and parole when the amendment passed.

Now they're focusing on the misdemeanors.

They've gone back to 1990 and found 2,015 misdemeanor drug cases. They filtered through those and isolated 414 cases that were cannabis-specific, which a judge will review.

Jackson County said they're pooling their resources to ensure they finish it on time.