Marijuana-related crimes can now be expunged from records in Arizona

Proposition 207, also known as the "Smart and Safe Arizona Act," was approved by voters during the November 2020 election. The new law, which, among other things, legalized recreational marijuana in Arizona, will impact those charged for most marijuana-related crimes.

Those eligible, whether they’ve been arrested, on probation, or with a prior record, can try and get their records expunged.

"Those with charges, convictions, arrests on their record -- doesn't even have to be a conviction, could be something that was charged and then later dismissed due to a deferred prosecution, but the record is still there that they were charged, so that can all be dismissed," said Tom Dean, an attorney who with experience in marijuana cases.

According to the law, those who qualify will be able to submit a petition to get those records expunged, starting on July 12. Those charges eligible to be expunged include possession of marijuana up to two-and-a-half ounces, possession of concentrates up to 12-and-a-half grams, and possession of drug paraphernalia and cultivation of up to six marijuana plants.

Back in November 2020, when it was clear that Proposition 207 was going to pass, those with pending marijuana-related cases pending were able to have those dismissed.

Related: County attorneys dropping all pending charges for marijuana possession following Prop 207 passage

The petitions will, however, take some time to go through.

"There could be a dispute," said Dean. "Was it under two-and-a-half ounces? Was it over? So there will be those cases with some disputed."

Man applies for expungement on July 12

"Happy expungement day!"

That’s a phrase some in Arizona are using on Monday as they celebrate clearing their records.

The legalization of marijuana in the state allows some people with marijuana convictions to have them erased if they take certain steps.

Carlos Diaz applied to have his marijuana conviction erased at the Maricopa County Superior Court on Monday. He says the possession charge was for a roach — a partial joint police in Surprise discovered under the passenger seat of his car in 2011.

Dean estimates about 100,000 people in Maricopa County will be eligible to expunge their records of pot charges. He’s advising that people do it even if they think it doesn’t matter.

The official expungement should take place within 45 days of filing.

Proposition 207 Marijuana Conviction/Adjudication Expungement Request

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