Judge: Few take advantage of new law to expunge pot convictions

By Cesar Neyoy Bajo El Sol | Yuma Sun

SOMERTON – Maybe they don’t know or maybe they don’t care, but many people aren’t taking advantage of a new law that allows them to erase convictions for use or possession of small amounts of marijuana, Somerton’s municipal judge says.

Judge Manuel Figueroa wants to make sure they know they have that right under Proposition 207, approved by Arizona voters in November.

The measure legalizes recreational use of small amounts of pot, but it also contains a section that allows people to petition courts expunge prior convictions for possession, transporation or use of up to 2.5 ounces of pot, as well as for possession of parafernalia for marijuana use.

“I would like our citizens to know that they have the right to go to the courts where their cases took place and ask that those convictions be removed,” Figueroa said.

“We have had hundreds, perhaps thousands of cases where people pleaded guilty to marijuana use and were handled as misdemeanors, and it concerns me to know that the government is providing them this right (of expungement) and they’re not using it.”

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