After Legalizing Cannabis, Arizona Begins Dismissing Weed Charges Immediately

After Legalizing Cannabis, Arizona Begins Dismissing Weed
Charges Immediately 1

By Matt

Across the country last week, Americans made their voices heard
in regard to the war on drugs. A record five states legalized
cannabis in some form. Montana voted to legalize cannabis for those
21 and up, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Arizona also approved
recreational use and Mississippi approved medicinal use. Legal weed
started from a trickle in 2012 with Washington and Colorado and has
now developed into a landslide with dozens of states legalizing it
in some form and a vote to
legalize nationally taking place
next month in Congress.

Telling cops to stop kidnapping and caging people for possessing
and selling a plant that has never killed anyone, is most certainly
a massive step in the direction of freedom. However, many states
which have legalized cannabis forget about those who have already
been kidnapped and caged for this plant. Hundreds of thousands of
people are still rotting in a cages or have criminal records
hanging over their heads in states where cannabis has been
legalized. This is an egregious injustice and it needs to

Luckily, there are those in the political world who see this
injustice and are moving to correct it. With the passage
(the Smart and Safe Arizona Act) on Nov 3rd, Arizona’s
largest county, Maricopa, decided to make that move.

This week, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) stated
that it will go ahead and begin dismissing “all pending and
unfiled charges of possession of marijuana†as well as any
associated paraphernalia-related charges that are active in their

“Instead of continuing to spend resources on these cases, this
office will begin implementing the will of the voters
immediately,†the MCAO
stated. Imagine that.

The motions to dismiss “will include all cases pending in
Early Disposition Court, those currently in diversion or pending
trial, and those set for sentencing or probation violation
hearings,†the MCAO noted.

Those who are currently rotting in a cage and waiting for a
trial for possessing the plant that was illegal prior to Nov. 3,
will be given priority and immediately freed. And, the MCAO is also
going to file motions to dismiss bench warrant cases where all the
charges are covered by Prop 207.

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While the move to immediately drop all current cases is
certainly noteworthy, the expungements are not retroactive. Those
who want to want to rid themselves of the charges hanging over
their heads, must petition the state to do so. Anyone convicted
previously of possessing under an ounce of marijuana, possessing
paraphernalia, or six or fewer plants can petition to have their
record(s) expunged but not until July 12, 2021.

The idea of a person sitting in a jail cell or being
unemployable over a criminal record for something that is now
legal, is vile and needs to be corrected. Other states would do
well to look at Colorado and Illinois have have issued
unconditional pardons to hundreds of thousands of citizens with
cannabis convictions.

Colorado was the most recent
and last month Governor Jared
signed an executive order
which granted a full, unconditional
pardon to everyone convicted of possession of an ounce or less of

According to Executive Order
C 2020 004:

All individuals previously convicted in the State of Colorado of
a petty offense, misdemeanor, or felony for possession of one (1)
ounce or less of marijuana under the following provisions are
hereby granted a full and unconditional pardon for that conviction.
This Executive Order only applies to convictions of one (1) ounce
or less of marijuana and no other charges or convictions are
pardoned by this Executive Order.

“We are finally cleaning up some of the inequities of the past
by pardoning 2,732 convictions for Coloradans who simply had an
ounce of marijuana or less. It’s ridiculous how being written up
for smoking a joint in the 1970’s has followed some Coloradans
throughout their lives and gotten in the way of their
success,†Polis said.

Illinois was before Colorado and made a similar move.

On June 25, 2019, Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed HB 1438 into law
which ended cannabis prohibition and replaced it with a system to
tax and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and over. But the bill
didn’t stop there, it also included an automatic
process for those whose lives have been ruined
by the state who kidnapped and caged them for possessing

Unlike the
previous measures
in other states like Arizona, which fell
short by requiring people with marijuana convictions to file forms
and requests within arduous bureaucratic restraints, HB 1438 is
automatic. People who were arrested for possessing this plant in
small amounts didn’t have to do anything to have it wiped from
their records.

As the Marijuana Policy Project

HB 1438 will usher in one of the most sweeping criminal justice
reforms so far in the cannabis movement.

  • The governor’s clemency process will be used for convictions
    of up to 30 grams. These expungements will be automatic.
  • For amounts of 30-500 grams, the clemency process also applies,
    however the individual must petition the court to vacate the

In all, around 770,000 cannabis-related records will be eligible
for expungement.

As more and more states legalize, those states who continue to
enforce this draconian policy and lock people up for possessing a
plant will find themselves not only on the wrong side of history,
but left in the dust when it comes to innovation, reduced crime,
and medical advancements.

The Free Thought Project

Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and
former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior
experience gives him unique insight into the world of government
corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an
independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on
mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at
Large at the Free Thought Project. Follow @MattAgorist on
, Steemit, and now on Minds.

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After Legalizing Cannabis, Arizona Begins Dismissing Weed Charges

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