Delaware Lawmakers to Consider Offering Expungement on Marijuana - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Delaware Lawmakers to Consider Offering Expungement on Marijuana Offenses That Happened Prior to De-criminalization

Posted: May 03, 2018 6:37 PM Updated:

DOVER, Del.- Delaware lawmakers are set to consider legislation offering mandatory expungement eligibility to individuals who were
convicted of the possession, use or consumption of marijuana prior to Delaware’s decriminalization of those offenses in 2015.

The bi-partisan legislation was introduced Wednesday in the General Assembly and could affect roughly 1,250 people.

"It could be something that happened 20 to 30 years ago and it's now going to haunt you for the rest of your life," said Lisa Minutola, with Delaware's Office of Defense Services.

To be eligible for the mandatory expungement, a single marijuana conviction must be the applicant’s only criminal conviction. Selling marijuana remains illegal in Delaware and recreational use of pot is also illegal under state code, though medical marijuana became legal several years ago.

Zebulon Davis of Dover said he knows many people with marijuana possession convictions that have hurt their ability to find jobs and housing.

"It makes you look like a drug dealer or a drug user," he said.

Not every lawmaker is in favor of the change. Rep. Steve Smyk (R-Milton) said he is currently against the legislation.

"There are people who were actually arrested for several charges for trafficking weight and distribution that ended up with just a possession charge because it was their first offense," he said.

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