Commentary: Real marijuana reform must focus on criminal justice reformPosted by On

Recent attention on reforming Utah’s marijuana laws has been focused on the substance’s medicinal value. But we must acknowledge that marijuana reform for many people in Utah is a criminal justice issue that can be rectified by reducing the criminal penalties for possession while contemporaneously expunging former low-level convictions. This rethinking of marijuana policy should be a top policy approach during Utah’s 2020 legislative session.

Utah lawmakers demonstrated overwhelming support for criminal justice reform this 2019 legislative session by passing the Expungement Act Amendments, a bill that automatically removes records of past criminal convictions for qualifying persons. Reducing the criminal penalties for marijuana is also important in this time of growing support for criminal justice reform.

To understand why we should decriminalize marijuana in Utah, we…

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