Justice in New Mexico: State courts ask for help to clean up cannabis

Recently, the Chief Justice of The New Mexico Supreme Court told lawmakers the state’s judiciary will “seek changes during the upcoming 60-day legislative session to a 2021 law mandating small tiers.” cannabis convictions to be removed from the criminal record.”

Chief Justice Shannon Bacon also said the burden of searching all state records for marijuana-related crimes was too much for staff and people wanted to have their own records erased. “Rather than giving the judiciary the responsibility to identify and overturn cannabis-related convictions, it should be up to the individuals concerned to make requests for such action,” she said.

“We believe there is an easier and less complicated way to handle this that takes the burden off the judiciary and puts control in the hands of the person who had the conviction,” Bacon said saidaccording to that Albuquerque Journal.

Marijuana Developments in New Mexico

2021, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham Signed a bill that would automatically delete the public records of certain low-level cannabis offenders or redact the cannabis-related sections.

Under the Eradication Act, criminal convictions for trafficking in or possessing large quantities of marijuana — more than 2 ounces — cannot be erased, as it remains illegal under the Cannabis Legalization Act.

Erasing criminal cannabis records means justice

Cannabis advocates reiterated that clearing cannabis criminal records is absolutely necessary to address justice, reported ABQ News.
Now that the laws have changed, proponents say “it’s time to remove the barriers that those records can put on a person’s life.”

Ellie BesanconManaging Director of Red Barn Growers/Green Goods, a cannabis company that helped organize two free erasure clinics in Albuquerque, said, “Erasing your record means you could go to an interview and be asked, ‘Do you have a record?’ You can say with confidence, “I have no records.” I think that’s important not only for expanding job opportunities, but also from a psychological point of view.”

Photo: Courtesy of Scott Elkins On Unsplash

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