Proposition 207: How will it Impact the Criminal Justice System
Proposition 207 will legalize recreational marijuana in Arizona. It will become official when the election results are certified in about a month. More than just getting Arizona higher, this proposition will also have a major impact on criminal justice reform throughout the state. Let’s look in on what Proposition 207 will do for minor drug criminals, both past and future.
A Drug Conviction for Marijuana Carries a Felony Conviction
Steven Scharboneau, Jr. is an attorney with the Rosenstein Law Group. “Arizona is one of the only states where a drug conviction for marijuana is a felony conviction. Therefore, it has life-lasting implications,” Scharboneau said.
Scharboneau said a felony conviction will never go away. To become an attorney, you have to go through the character and fitness process. Scharboneau said he has to go through a four-hour hearing with a panel.
Adam Trenk said he thinks it’s a big deal. He said it is a huge step for the state of Arizona to approve Proposition 207. Trenk is a Rose Law Group partner. He is also the director of the firm’s cannabis law department.
“Historically we would, we being the state’s court systems, would seal records, but they wouldn’t necessarily expunge records,” Trenk said. Now, however, it seems as though the state is willing to be flexible with those who are in on marijuana charges.
People can Have Their Records Expunged of Marijuana Offenses
On July 12, 2021, people who have been given a conviction of select marijuana offenses can now petition to have their records expunged. In essence, this will give people a clean slate. This what Scharboneau said his work is all about.
“If we really work hard to make the laws fairer so people can actually have a fair chance at that second chance,” Scharboneau said.