Vermont House Approves Bill Granting Automatic Expungement

The Vermont House of Representatives voted last week to approve a bill that would grant automatic expungement of low-level marijuana offenses while increasing the limits on the personal possession and cultivation of cannabis. 

Under the measure (S. 234), convictions recorded prior to January 2021 for possession of up to two ounces of marijuana would automatically be cleared from an offender’s criminal record. The bill would also grant automatic expungement for possession of up to four mature or eight immature cannabis plants.

The bill allows Vermont courts until the end of next year to grant the expungements to qualified offenders. Those with records cleared by the automatic expungement process outlined by the measure would be notified by mail. Beginning in January 2021, those with convictions eligible for expungement would be able to legally state that they have not been convicted of a cannabis crime when filling out applications for jobs, licenses, or public benefits, even if they have not yet been notified that their record has been cleared.

Reducing The Consequences Of A Criminal Record

Republican Rep. Tom Burditt said before Friday’s virtual House vote that the bill would

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