Now That Marijuana is Legal in Maine, Should Old Criminal Records Be Wiped Out?
This is an interesting question, and the Portland Press Herald's editorial board says yes.
What do you think?
Starting on January 30, 2017, marijuana became legal in Maine. You have to be 21 or older to possess up to 2.5 ounces, you can't use pot in public and you can't buy it – but you can grow your own.
For ages, that wasn't the case. Marijuana was illegal to use or possess in Maine, and still remains illegal at the federal level. An untold number of Mainers were prosecuted for marijuana offenses over the years (we're not sure how many), and those criminal convictions still appear on records, even now that the recreational use of the drug has been legalized in Maine.
That can definitely hurt when you're looking for a job, an apartment, or even with school admissions.
Generally speaking, your record will always follow you. Even if something that used to be a crime is legalized at a later date, if you got caught while it was illegal (and if you were then prosecuted for it), that conviction will stay on your record forever.
Many Mainers, and the members of the Press Herald's editorial team, argue that those minor drug convictions (for small use, not big-time distribution) should be wiped clean from the criminal records of the untold number of Mainers who still have to carry their convictions with them.
What do you think? Comment here on on Facebook and let us know.