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The Cannabis Catch-Up: More on Expungements


Published May 18, 2018 at 4:56 p.m.

Wave that conviction goodbye. - LUKE EASTMAN
  • Luke Eastman
  • Wave that conviction goodbye.
We wrote last week about plans for expungement clinics in Chittenden and Windsor counties next month. Applicants can file to have their misdemeanor marijuana possession convictions in those counties wiped clean.

Don’t worry, the events are still on. But we wanted to clarify a few details.

For one, the clinics are free. Lawyers and law students have volunteered to help applicants fill out a petition, which the process requires. The state’s attorneys in those counties, Sarah George in Chittenden and David Cahill in Windsor, have said they’ll accept the petitions, meaning no court hearing is needed and a judge will sign off on the request. (There are some requirements that must be met to qualify; click here to read more.)

Another important note: Petitions don't have to be submitted on the day of the clinics. Rather, those events are being held to help people wade through the form.

"The benefit of doing it on that day is that Legal Aid will be present with me and can help answer other questions about the expungement process, and we may even be able to address the expungement of other legally eligible convictions while they are there,” George told Seven Days in an email.

Current state law requires that five years must have lapsed since the conviction in question, but George said, “I am not requiring that any specific amount of time has passed, nor am I requiring that they have a clean record since.”

That means that a subsequent conviction for a crime would not preclude anyone from getting an expungement for a misdemeanor marijuana possession.

The clinics are scheduled for June 9 in South Royalton and June 12 in Burlington.

Here are some cannabis stories we followed this week:

May 12: Hey! There was a cannabis and hemp convention last weekend, right here in Vermont. We checked it out Saturday. It was a trip. [Sasha Goldstein, Seven Days]

May 13: The surest way to face marijuana charges in New York City is to be black or Hispanic. [Benjamin Mueller, Robert Gebeloff and Sahil Chinoy, New York Times]

May 16: Wednesday’s "Vermont Edition" featured a roundtable of people who discussed growing your own. The 30-minute conversation is available here. [Jane Lindholm and Matthew F. Smith, Vermont Public Radio]

May 16: One of the bills that failed in the Vermont legislature this year would have allowed local governments to fine residents for "any significant odor that emanates from a person's property due to marijuana consumption on the property." [Alicia Freese and Taylor Dobbs, Seven Days]

May 16: Here are some insights from the State of Vermont on growing your own weed, based on its requirements for medical marijuana growers. [Nicole Higgins DeSmet, Burlington Free Press]

May 17: Another take on the weekend’s cannabis convention with a look at some of the businesses springing up as legalization looms. [Liam Elder-Connors, VPR]

May 17: Bryan Parmelee talked to a cannabis plant for this week’s "Seriously Seven Days."  Seriously:

May 17: The internet strikes again! An Estonian town will use a cannabis plant as its official emblem after holding a public vote on the internet. [Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura, the New York Times]

May 18: A group of researchers led by the University of Vermont’s John McPartland has concluded that wild weed grew throughout Europe during the Stone Age, but it started to disappear around 9,000 years ago as the continent warmed. [Tom Barnes, the Independent]

May 18: Young Americans have traditionally smoked a cigarette or drunk alcohol as their first exposure to drugs. But increasingly, the first drug of choice is marijuana, a new study found. [Aristos Georgiou, Newsweek]

Got a story you want to see in our our weekly roundup? Send an email to [email protected].

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