Today, November 26, 2018, the New Jersey State Legislature will gather in Trenton to consider Senate Bill S-2703, better known as the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory and Expungement Aid Modernization Act. You may have heard that the proposed law would legalize the possession and personal use of an ounce or less of marijuana by adults 21 years and older, and create a regulatory and tax system for the activity.
However, you may not know that the proposed law also specifically requires New Jersey to create an electronic filing system to process expedited expungements for those convicted of low-level marijuana possession and distribution offenses. This electronic filing system must be created within six months of the passage of a final version of the law.
Although Senate President Steven Sweeney (D, Gloucester) indicates that a separate piece of legislation will have to be written and voted on in order to spell out the exact terms of this mandate, it is clear that statewide expungement of low level possession offenses is an intended goal of the proposed law and will be part of the final bill. The separate legislation dealing with the expungement of marijuana offenses in more detail, A-4498, is still in the Assembly and has not yet been released.
Recognizing that the time and effort required to inform the public of the new expungement laws is substantial, the legislation also requires a public information campaign in an effort to educate communities as to the availability of the expedited expungement for marijuana offenses.
Although the legislation is scheduled to be voted on today, it is very likely that additional changes will be made before the bill is signed into law. Moreover, as discussed above, the specific details regarding the expungement process for marijuana convictions have yet to be established. As more information becomes available, we will continue to keep you updated.
New Jersey Expungement Lawyer
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) estimates that as many as 280,000 people will be eligible for this mandated expungement. Are you one of them? Contact Katherine O’Brien, an experienced career expungement attorney, to discuss your case and determine your eligibility under the new law. You may be able to take advantage of this unprecedented opportunity to stop a past marijuana offense from negatively impacting your life and future.
Contact us today for a free consultation at (856) 832-2482.