Pot Legalization Advocates Collect Signatures for Proposal to Expunge Marijuana Offenses

By Victoria Kim 07/21/15

The Fresh Start Act would allow criminal records for certain offenses to be expunged if marijuana is legalized in Ohio.

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The pro-marijuana legalization group ResponsibleOhio received approval last week to begin collecting signatures for the Fresh Start Act, a law that would allow criminal records for certain marijuana offenses to be expunged if marijuana is legalized in Ohio, Cleveland.com reports.

The Ohio Ballot Board voted 3-2 to allow ResponsibleOhio to begin gathering the required 91,677 signatures of registered Ohio voters before it is brought before the general assembly. Once the signatures are submitted and validated, the general assembly would have four months to enact the proposal.

If the law is modified, rejected, or not acted upon, the group would need to collect another 91,677 signatures to put the measure on the statewide ballot in 2016.

The group submitted 695,273 signatures last month in an attempt to put its legalization amendment on the Nov. 3 ballot. The signatures are in the process of being verified. The proposed statute would allow those convicted of marijuana offenses legalized by ResponsibleOhio’s constitutional amendment to have those records expunged, or destroyed. 

“Marijuana legalization is an important priority that voters will have the opportunity to decide this year, but that by itself is not enough,” said Ian James, the executive director of ResponsibleOhio. “The Fresh Start Act will keep Ohio moving forward by offering folks the clean slate they deserve.”

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr