Monday, June 21, 2021 (Phoenix, AZ) - On Nov. 3, 2020, voters in Arizona passed Proposition 207, also known as the Smart and Safe Act. The ballot measure legalized the adult recreational use of marijuana by adults 21 and older and beginning July 12, 2021, also allows anyone convicted of certain crimes related to possession, consumption, cultivation, and transportation of marijuana to petition for the expungement of their criminal record.
Immediately following the certification of the election, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office began filing motions to dismiss pending cases in Maricopa County that would have been covered by the new statute. To date, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office (MCAO) has proactively filed to dismiss or drop over 5,000 charges related to the use, transportation or cultivation of recreational marijuana.
Starting on July 12, 2021, individuals can apply for expungement for convictions and juvenile adjudications occurring before the passage of Proposition 207, if the offense was for:
- Possessing, consuming or transporting two and one-half ounces or less of marijuana, of which not more than twelve and one-half grams was in the form of marijuana concentrate.
- Possessing, transporting, cultivating or processing not more than six marijuana plants at the individual's primary residence for personal use.
- Possessing, using or transporting paraphernalia relating to the cultivation, manufacture, processing or consumption of marijuana.
“I believe that the will of the voters should be implemented as efficiently as possible,” states Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel. “My office has been working for months to identify a system to assist individuals seeking to have their criminal record expunged per statute. On July 12, it is expected that my office will proactively file over 6,900 stipulated motions to expunge convictions. We appreciate the partnership of the many agencies and non-profits who have worked to create a system that will be accessible and easy to use for those in our community seeking to expunge their record.”
Recognizing that there are thousands of applicable cases and that resources are limited, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will prioritize which cases we will file a stipulated motion on. In order for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to file a motion on someone’s behalf, the following conditions must exist:
- The amount of the drugs involved in the case must be below the amounts allowed by Proposition 207 (2.5 ounces of marijuana, or 12.5 grams of marijuana concentrate, or 6 marijuana plants).
- Defendant/Juvenile must not have any pending felony cases (or charges submitted to our office to be reviewed for filing felony charges).
- Defendant/Juvenile must not have been convicted of any felony (other than an offense covered by Proposition 207) subsequent to the conviction they wish to have expunged.
For additional information on this process, and to request assistance from the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office related to expungement from the Smart and Safe Act, visit MaricopaCountyAttorney.org/Prop207.