Connecticut is engaged in many debates to solve its budget crisis. From tolls, to soda taxes, to legalizing recreational marijuana, there are a myriad of potential state revenue drivers up for discussion. One area that Brown Paindiris & Scott is watching carefully is the issue of legalizing recreational marijuana because of its potential impact on the legal system.
To date, the bill at the Connecticut Legislature with the most apparent support for legalizing recreational marijuana is House Bill 5595.
Aside from the obvious impact that legalizing recreational marijuana would have moving forward, there are some less considered impacts for those who have previously been convicted or plead guilty to low-level marijuana drug crimes.
Specifically, it is likely that if Connecticut were to legalize recreational marijuana, the state would have to create a process to expunge the records of people who were convicted of behavior that under new law is legalized. The bill noted above does not address this process in any detail, so for now, we can only look at how other states have handled this issue for guidance.
Our neighbor to the north, Massachusetts, as well as Colorado and California have taken various tacts with the issue of expungement for marijuana-related crimes. For more details on how these states handle expungement, read this article by Cody Guarnieri, a partner at Brown Paindiris & Scott.
If you have questions about what legalizing recreational marijuana may mean in relation to your own criminal record, contact us.