Maricopa County files to expunge over 10,000 marijuana arrest records

Mar 7, 2022, 2:06 PM | Updated: 2:07 pm
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)...
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

PHOENIX – Prosecutors in Arizona’s largest county said they have filed more than 10,000 petitions to wipe some marijuana-related convictions off the record books.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office said Monday it has put in 10,607 records for expungement since the ballot initiative went into effect in July 2021.

“I believe that the will of the voters should be implemented as efficiently as possible,” County Attorney Allister Adel said in a press release.

Arizona Proposition 207 legalized recreational marijuana use for ages 21 and older in 2020. The measure passed with 60% approval.

Maricopa County prosecutors said they have filed “to dismiss or drop over 5,000 charges related to the use, transportation or cultivation of recreational marijuana,” starting with the most recent cases.

Those who were arrested, charged, convicted or acquitted of certain marijuana offenses have been able to apply online to the Superior Court requesting their records be erased.

The petition is limited to three offenses:

  • Possessing, consuming or transporting 2 1/2 ounces or less of marijuana (including cannabis), of which not more than 12 1/2 grams is in the form of marijuana concentrate.
  • Possessing, transporting, cultivating, or processing not more than six marijuana plants at the filer’s primary residence for personal use.
  • Possessing, using, or transporting paraphernalia related to the cultivation, manufacture,
    processing, or consumption of marijuana.

If a request is granted by the court, the case file and law enforcement records of the charge will be sealed and not available to the public.

There is no fee to file the petition.

The Smart and Safe Arizona Act is the state’s first expungement statute.

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Maricopa County files to expunge over 10,000 marijuana arrest records