Michigan Will Clear Thousands of Marijuana Convictions if Cannabis Becomes Legal This November

The state of Michigan is set to vote on whether or not to legalize recreational marijuana this November. But now voters may also decide whether thousands of people convicted of cannabis crimes in the past will get their records cleared.

Democratic State Representative Sheldon Neeley introduced a bill last week in the Michigan legislature that would allow judges to grant expungement requests for nonviolent marijuana convictions. The bill would only take effect if Michigan voters approve a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana this November.

“I hope we will listen to the will of the people. If the November vote is loud and clear, we should take a good look at it and balance the playing field on the usage of marijuana in the state of Michigan,” Neeley said. “We definitely don’t want people to have a criminal record for a nonviolent crime that is now legal if it passes in November.”

According to some statistics, Neeley's bill would affect around 50,000 people living in Michigan.

Most people believe Michigan voters will approve the marijuana ballot initiative this November. Polls indicate around 60 percent support for the initiative. 

While Neeley introduced his bill last week, he's not sure whether the Republican controlled legislature will consider it before the initiative vote this November. But he says he plans to re-introduce it if the initiative succeeds, and that Republicans would possibly be more open to it then.

(h/t Detroit Free Press)


Glaucoma often makes the list of acceptable conditions for treatment by medical marijuana in states where the substance has been legalized, but the cannabis compound CBD could actually worsen the condition. A recent study from Indiana University has found that consuming CBD—a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis often used for medicinal purposes— actually increases eye pressure. "This study raises important questions about the relationship between the primary ingredients in cannabis and their effect on the eye," lead researcher Alex Straiker told Science Alert.