Vermont is joining the states that now see the convictions of people for non-violent marijuana possession crimes as being a social injustice. The state attorney for Windsor County, Vermont, David Cahill, held a Marijuana Expungement Day on Saturday for those interested in understanding the new adult-use cannabis law in Vermont that takes effect on July 1st, and how they will be able to have their records expunged of cannabis misdemeanors.
“You will be entitled to say that you were never convicted of the offense, that it never happened, and when you apply for a job, a student loan, housing, you can check the no box on if you’ve been convicted of this crime,” Cahill said.
He said around 2,800 Vermonters in the last 10 years been convicted of misdemeanor marijuana offenses. After July first, recreational marijuana in Vermont will be legal in small amounts.
“I believe in the law, I was raised to believe in the law. I believe in following the law,” said Jaqueline Dawinks.
She is a student at the Vermont Law School and has a passion for being an advocate for social justice.
If residents in Windsor County or any county in Vermont are thinking of getting their records expunged of any misdemeanor marijuana charges, Cahill suggests reaching out to Vermont Legal Aid or any attorney to help you fill out a petition to be submitted after July 1st.
Vermont is joining Washington state, California and Colorado as states that are proactively clearing the records of people with misdemeanors for cannabis possession. It has been one of the most strongly argued points of cannabis advocates that arrests for cannabis possession and convictions ruin people’s lives. If cannabis is going to be legal, then why should anyone struggle with getting a job or gaining admittance into school? Advocates are pushing for even more records to be expunged, and question why states like Nevada are not prioritizing these social injustices.