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State courts report low demand for expungement of marijuana-related convictions


Montana courts are reporting low demand for expunging marijuana-related criminal convictions now that the substance is legal for recreational use.

Court Administrator Beth McLaughlin says the judicial branch will likely forgo creating a new court to handle clearing criminal records of now legal actions. The state Legislature set money aside for that last spring when drawing up marijuana legislation.

McLaughlin says local courts should be able to handle the workload.

Montana voters legalized recreational marijuana in November of 2020, and it’s been legal since then to possess. Legal sales began Jan. 1.

McLaughlin says her office is drafting a self-help form to help defendants through the process.
Copyright 2022 Montana Public Radio. To see more, visit Montana Public Radio.

Shaylee is a UM Journalism School student. She reports and helps produce Montana Evening News on MTPR.