With more and more states legalizing marijuana for recreational use, more and more states are coming to grips that they’re going to have to expunge thousands of inmates. Now that cannabis is no longer considered a crime, states are beginning to go back and look at convicted “criminals” who were sent to prison for marijuana use and possession.

Legislature in the states that have marijuana legalized have been moving to have convictions completely wiped off their record or have a low-level felony cases be moved to misdemeanors depending on the original conviction. Seattle Mayor Jerry Drukan stated at a news conference back in February, “The war on drugs ended up being a war on people who needed help, who needed opportunity and who needed treatment.”

Since states began to legalize recreational marijuana use, thousands of newly free inmates are panicking over the fact that they won’t be able to get jobs, go into the army, and apply for fair housing over what is now legal. In California, for example, 5,000+ people petitioned the courts to have their convictions expunged off of their record, and for good reason. Now that 9 states are now legal, it only makes sense to expunge those who were convicted of marijuana use.

It just doesn’t make sense to have a permanent record with something that’s completely legal keeping them from living their best lives.  Now, with Michigan likely being the next state to legalize marijuana for recreational use, law makers are beginning to work with legislation on what to do about possible expungements which is something that hasn’t been done before the actual legalization.Cannabis Legal Group founder and Grow Cannabis Marketing client, Attorney Barton W. Morris Jr., is currently working with Michigan legislation to create laws that will help expunge those who were (now) wrongly convicted of marijuana possession and use.

9 states have fully legalized marijuana and 15 states, including Michigan, are currently getting ready for legalization. Although legalizing marijuana is a giant step in U.S history, expungements of criminals with marijuana possession and use need to be processed and approved. In 2016, alone, over 500,000 people were convicted for simple possession, and with more states legalizing marijuana, more people are now wrongly considered felons which needs to be stopped.